Speckled gray bowl filled with candy corn.
Photography, Art Direction & Food Styling: Anthony Contrino

When I was working on the fall gifts themed episode of Saucy, this recipe was a contender.  I’m not exactly sure why we didn’t use it, but it doesn’t really matter because here it is!  This makes a great snack – it’s a little sweet and a little salty. 

Maple Praline Popcorn

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12 cups


  • ½ cup corn kernels
  • ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups light brown sugar
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt


  • Preheat the oven to 250 degrees and line 2 half sheet pans with parchment paper.
  • Pop the kernels in two batches, ¼ cup at a time, in brown paper bags, in the microwave using the popcorn setting.
  • Transfer the fully popped kernels to a very large bowl sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, and discard the partially popped and unpopped kernels.
  • In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over high heat.
  • Add the sugar and syrup and stir to combine.
  • Bring to a boil and cook, without stirring, to 238-degrees (soft ball stage) on a candy thermometer.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
  • Carefully pour the hot sugar mixture over the popcorn and toss, using two rubber spatulas, until the popcorn is evenly coated.
  • Divide the popcorn onto the two prepared sheet pans and, using a rubber spatula, separate the popcorn as best you can.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, then toss with a flat spatula.
  • Bake for an additional 15 minutes, then cool completely on the sheet pans.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Course: Dessert, Snack
Author: Anthony Michael Contrino