I kinda grew up in Europe. Where Reese's peanut butter cups are non-existent, root beer extract is used only in cough medicine, and people are far too refined to consider eating anything resembling Poptarts, Toaster strudels, or Rice Krispie treat cereal. I'm totally not complaining. Google images of "Gaufre avec chocolat" and I think you'll see why I was very happy there.
Anyways. We flew home to the States every summer, and the best part of getting off that 8 hour flight was the smell of Cinnabon wafting lazily through the airport terminal; teasing all the deprived pseudo-American children and reminding them that six packages of airplane peanuts and three ginger ales do not count as lunch and dinner. Or maybe it was just me.
And then my evil sister would be like "Look, Subway!" And I'd be like, "Yuck! Sandwiches. I need Cinnabon nowwww!". And then we'd eat Subway.
This might not be a true cinnabon. But it's darn close for a movie theater snack. This is easily one of my favorite recipes I've made this summer. Make this now. And don't skimp on the pecans. If you don't like nuts, you still have to add them. I will give you a gold star for facing your nut-phobia. You can even make this and sneak it into Cars 2 in a ginormous purse. Having a Cinnabon-scented purse from now on will just be an added bonus.
Recipe slightly adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything
1 1/2 bags light microwave popcorn
1 cup pecan halves, roughly chopped
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup karo syrup
1 stick real butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 250 degrees
Place popcorn (kernels removed) and chopped pecans in a large bowl (read: huge bowl) and set aside.
Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a microwave safe bowl. Mix well. Chop butter into chunks and place on top of sugar mixture. Pour corn syrup over the top of everything. Microwave on high for 30 seconds and then stir to combine. Return to microwave and heat for 2 minutes. Remove and stir and then microwave for 2 minutes more. (Do not overheat or your popcorn will turn out very hard.)
Remove from microwave and add vanilla and baking soda. Stir to combine. Mixture will foam and rise.
Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and pecans and stir extremely well until everything is well coated.
Spread popcorn mixture onto a foil-lined cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and spread out on a large piece of parchment, or foil.
Melt chocolate chips in microwave at 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth. Drizzle over popcorn mixture. If you're impatient like me, move your parchment onto a cookie sheet, and into the freezer to help popcorn set quickly. When chocolate is hardened and popcorn is cool, break into chunks and enjoy!
Nom Nom Nom...
Submitted to: Melt in your Mouth Monday
Submitted to: Cast Party Wednesdays