weather icon Clear

Divas on a Dime: One delicious recipe, two treats, but no tricks

Well, maybe there’s a little trick to this caramel corn. We’re going to sneak in the perfect amount of pumpkin pie spice and salt to make an autumn snack that’s crunchy, sweet, salty and ridiculously addictive.

Can you believe we’re into the holiday season already? As we prepare to climb up a few notches on the crazy scale we need an easy, inexpensive recipe that works as party food all season long.

If you’re having a harvest-themed gathering everyone will love the pumpkin spice caramel corn. Homemade is so much better than anything you can find at the store. When Halloween rolls around, you can add food coloring to take the virtuous caramel corn and reincarnate it as the delightfully disgusting “Ogre Oogies”.


Prep Time: 15 minutes – Bake Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 20 cups

What You’ll Need:

2/3 cup unpopped popcorn kernels (about 20 cups popped corn)

1 cup salted butter

1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

2 teaspoons vanilla

Here’s How:

Preheat the oven to 300°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside. Pop the popcorn kernels using an air popper into a very large bowl.

If you don’t have an air popper, (you should get one!) you can use a plain brown paper lunch bag in the microwave. Place 1/3 cup unpopped kernels in a brown paper bag. Fold the top over a few times; microwave on high for about two and a half minutes, or until the popping slows (the exact time will depend on your microwave). You’ll need to do this twice, possibly three times to get your 20 cups of popped corn. As a last resort, use four or five bags of prepared microwave popcorn and eliminate the salt in the caramel. It’s all good.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, corn syrup and salt together. Stir to incorporate and bring to boil. Boil for 4 minutes without stirring. Remove from the heat and stir in the pumpkin pie spice and vanilla. If you’re making green Ogre Oogies add about 20 drops of green food coloring to the caramel and stir to evenly distribute the coloring. Pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn and working quickly, toss with two large spoons to coat evenly.

Spread the popcorn evenly onto the lined pan and place in oven. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Watch for scorching the last time you stir and adjust time accordingly if necessary. Don’t let it burn. When baked, spread the popcorn out into bite sized clusters to cool on a parchment lined counter. This will make it very crunchy. Store in airtight container. Divine!

While this recipe is delicious as written you could choose to add other goodies like pecans, peanuts, or pepitas. You can add your favorite breakfast cereal to the popcorn when you add the caramel and bake it all together. You can also form the caramel coated popcorn into popcorn balls, if you wish.

Fabulous Food by Patti Diamond from “Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” – www.divasonadime.com Join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
DIVAS ON A DIME: Take your tastebuds on vacation with Indian lentil dal

Are you ready for a vacation? Are you longing to visit someplace completely different? If yes, I’m with you. Perhaps we can’t get away, but here’s a temporary solution. Let’s turn dinner into a culinary virtual vacation and make dishes that will immerse us in another culture. Well, at least our tastebuds.

DIVAS ON A DIME: Save money, time, sanity with meal planning

In the spirit of New Year, New Habits, we’re going back to basics. We’re going to talk about the most important tool you have for saving money, improving health, and optimizing your time – meal planning.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Saturday, Jan. 2 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $9 million.

Celebrate New Years with inspired cocktail creations

Let’s pay homage to what remains of the holiday spirit by crafting some seasonal spirits of our own. We’re going to explore infusing vodka with fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

DIVAS ON A DIME: Make your holiday weekend pop with popovers

In mere hours Christmas 2020 will be a magical memory but the celebration continues! This weekend let’s indulge in a treat that makes any day a special occasion. Popovers!

DIVAS ON A DIME: Sweeten the season with two very merry cookie recipes

If you’re only going to make two cookie recipes this holiday season, may I humbly suggest these two scrumptious cookies? One is the ultimate deep rich chocolate cookie, the second is the ultimate buttery soft vanilla cookie.

DIVAS ON A DIME: Your holiday gift-giving worries solved for peanuts

As we run this holiday marathon, it’s nice to have the occasional quick win, right? Here are three foodie gifts that are cheaper, easier, and faster than baking cookies. Let’s make candied nuts that aren’t nuts.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Saturday, Dec. 5 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $13 million.

DIVAS ON A DIME: Hot cocoa boards becoming favorite new holiday trend

You’re familiar with charcuterie or cheese boards, right? A ubiquitous holiday staple. Well, it’s time for brie and crackers to step aside because photos of beautiful hot chocolate “charcuterie” boards are blowing up Instagram and Facebook.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Saturday, Nov. 28 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $11 million.