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Take caramel corn to a new level by adding balsamic to give it some depth.

Makes about 4 cups



Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a rimmed baking tray with parchment paper.

Heat 2 Tbsp of the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. To check the temperature, add a couple kernels, cover, and let them pop, 3-5 minutes. Add the remaining kernels, cover, and remove the pot from the heat for 30 seconds. Shake the pot slightly. Return the pot to the heat and crack the lid just enough to allow the steam to escape. Once the corn is popping rapidly, shake the pot with the lid partially on until there are 5-7 seconds between pops. Pour the popcorn into a large bowl.

Place the remaining 1 Tbsp oil, the sugar, honey, and balsamic in a non-stick saucepan and stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a low boil — stronger than a simmer but not going crazy like a full boil — and cook, without stirring, until the caramel darkens, 3-5 minutes. Carefully add the baking soda — it will foam up — and stir it in. Pour the syrup over the popcorn and stir quickly to cover all the kernels. Pour onto the baking tray and spread out evenly. Bake for 15-20 minutes, sprinkle with fleur de sel if using, and then break up into smaller pieces when cool enough to handle. You can store this in an airtight container for about 1 week, but it’s at its absolute best on the day you make it. When I make it, it doesn’t even last a day.

This recipe is adapted from one written by TouchWood Editions.

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