- 1 gallon ServingsServings
- ¼ cup oil
- ½ cup white popcorn kernels
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup good quality unsweetened cocoa
- ¼ cup (1/2 stick) margarine
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup chocolate covered nuts
Preheat oven to 250° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Prepare popcorn: Add ¼ cup oil (or just enough oil to cover the bottom) to a large pot over medium-high heat. Add ¼ cup popcorn kernels. Cover and pop. To avoid unpopped kernels, give the pot a little shake during the popping, so unpopped kernels fall to the bottom. When popping sound slows down, remove pot from heat. Wait until the popping sounds completely stop and transfer popcorn to an extra large bowl.
Prepare the chocolate sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine sugar, cocoa, margarine, and corn syrup. Stir constantly as the margarine melts and the mixture comes to a boil. Let boil 2 minutes.
Continue stirring constantly. Remove from heat and quickly add vanilla and baking soda. Immediately add sauce to the still-warm popcorn, and stir to thoroughly coat. I like to use a rubber glove or plastic bag over my hand to mix the sauce and popcorn more thoroughly than I could with a spoon. Spread popcorn on baking sheet and bake about 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes, until popcorn is crunchy.
Assembly: Add chocolate-covered nuts to the popcorn.
Variation: Vanilla Bean Popcorn. Replace cocoa with additional ¼ cup sugar and vanilla extract with one vanilla bean, scraped.Replace chocolate covered peanuts with
yogurt covered nuts or pretzels.