Chocolate Drizzled Caramel Pecan Crunch – the name says it all. Freshly popped corn and toasted pecans baked in a dreamy caramel sauce and finished with a drizzle of melted chocolate. Every bite is pure heaven!
I used the following ingredients for this yummy treat: Popcorn, toasted pecans, light brown sugar, unsalted butter, light corn syrup, salt, vanilla extract, baking soda, dark chocolate melting wafers.
Popping the Popcorn
I started by popping the corn using my Skinny Microwave Popcorn in a Bag method, minus the salt. First, I added ¼ cup of unpopped popcorn to a brown lunch bag. Then, I folded the top three times, and placed the bag in the microwave side-down. Next, I selected the popcorn setting on my microwave. After the microwave had finished, I emptied the popcorn onto a wire rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet. The reason that I did this was to ensure that no unpopped kernels made their way into the Caramel Pecan Crunch!
I repeated this two more times to end up with the necessary quantity of popcorn. Before turning my attention to the caramel, I added the toasted pecans to the popcorn.
Making the Caramel
I added the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt to a small saucepan over medium high heat. Once the butter had melted, I stirred everything together. When the mixture had come to a boil, I lowered the heat to medium low. I let the caramel mixture continue to boil without stirring for five minutes. After five minutes, I removed the pan from the heat, and added the vanilla extract and baking soda. I stirred the caramel to ensure that the vanilla and baking soda were well incorporated, being careful not to burn myself as the caramel bubbled up!
Finishing the Chocolate Drizzled Caramel Pecan Crunch
When the caramel was ready, I poured it over the toasted pecans and popcorn. I quickly stirred the mixture with a wooden spoon to coat the pecans and popcorn. Then, I dumped it into a large disposable aluminum roasting pan (15-3/16 x 11-5/16 inches).
After spreading the mixture out in the pan, I placed it into a preheated 250° F oven for an hour and 15 minutes. Every 15 minutes, I removed the aluminum pan, and stirred the Caramel Pecan Crunch to ensure that the pecans and popcorn were well coated. After an hour and 15 minutes, I gave the Caramel Pecan Crunch one last stir and dumped it onto a piece of parchment paper so that it could completely cool. After it had cooled completely, I drizzled it with melted dark chocolate.
I left it in 1-inch to 2-inch clumps, and ended up with between 14 and 15 cups of Chocolate Drizzled Caramel Pecan Crunch. It was amazing. I stored it in an air-tight container. Every bite was crunchy and totally addictive. The Chocolate Drizzled Caramel Pecan Crunch was still deliciously fresh after a week. Yum!
Chocolate Drizzled Caramel Pecan Crunch
- 12 cups fresh popped unsalted popcorn (about ¾ cup unpopped corn) (See Note 1)
- 2 cups toasted pecan pieces (See Note 2)
- ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 cup firmly packed (7.5 ounces) light brown sugar
- ½ cup corn syrup
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup dark chocolate melting wafer melted according to package directions
- Preheat oven to 250° F.
- Place popped corn into a large bowl; add toasted pecans on the top.
- Heat the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until butter is melted. Reduce heat to medium low; cook, undisturbed and uncovered, for 5 minutes.
- Remove saucepan from heat and stir in vanilla extract and baking soda.
- Pour the caramel over the pecans and popcorn; stir to coat.
- Spread the mixture onto an ungreased, large disposable aluminum roasting pan. (See Note 3)
- Bake for one hour and 15 minutes, removing every 15 minutes to stir.
- Spread the mixture onto parchment paper to cool. It may seem sticky at first, but will dry as it cools.
- Once caramel corn is cooled, drizzle with melted dark chocolate.
- Store in airtight container for up to a week.
- Yield: 14 to 15 cups.
Chula's Expert Tips
- To easily pop the popcorn, place ¼ cup of unpopped corn in a brown lunch bag. Fold top 3 times. Place side down in microwave, and select popcorn setting. Repeat two more times.
- To toast pecans, place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated 350° F oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Watch closely to prevent over-toasting.
- I used a 15-3/16 x 11-5/16 inch disposable aluminum roasting pan.