When faced with a selection of flavored popcorn, I could be counted on to gravitate toward the sweet side: Caramel. Kettle. Chocolate-drizzled.
That is, until the day a friend sent me a recipe for sriracha popcorn. I. Was. Hooked. I never realized how over-the-top sweet my choices had been till I tried a more savory version. The balance was perfect and I've not looked back.
My latest creation?
This completely addictive buffalo popcorn.
Game-day season is here, and with it comes buffalo everything. There are wings, of course. But also nachos, dips, mac 'n' cheese, cauliflower — you name it.
So why not popcorn?
The subtle kick of wing sauce is a delicious counterpart to traditional caramel corn, and it couldn't be easier to whip up. Dial the heat of the sauce up or down to suit your preference. Add a bit of cayenne to spice things up further if you like and I love the tang of some ranch seasoning.
Serve up a bowl of this popcorn next weekend!
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Total 45 minutes
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons wing sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 – 3 teaspoons dry ranch seasoning (optional)
- pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray a large bowl and two heatproof spatulas (or large spoons) with non-stick cooking spray.
- 2. Heat oil and 2 popcorn kernels in a large pot over medium-high heat. When the kernels pop add the remaining kernels, cover, and continuously shake the pot until popping has stopped. Pour the popped corn into your prepared bowl and fish out any unpopped kernels.
- 3. Heat the water and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring till sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook, swirling occasionally, till mixture is deep golden (do not brown). Remove from heat and whisk in the butter and wing sauce. Return to heat and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the salt, baking soda, ranch seasoning and cayenne pepper.
- 4. Pour caramel over the popcorn and use your spatulas to toss till popcorn is completely coated. Transfer to your prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Cool in pan on a wire rack, breaking into small pieces when cool enough to handle. Store in an airtight container.
Images via Sheri Silver