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Whiskey Caramel Corn with Cocoa Nibs

Whiskey Caramel Corn with Cocoa Nibs

Fall is right around the corner and I’ve got big things in store for Confectionalism’s first autumn. It might seem early for me to begin publishing some of my fall recipes but I can’t ever get to my favorite season fast enough. There are so many wonderful scents and flavors of fall but this Caramel Popcorn has been a go to snack for me, my friends, and my family. The only reason I even find myself hesitating to make this, is because it is so highly addictive. I’ll sit down and eat it until I’m about to burst. It’s dangerously addictive, but this recipe makes for an amazing snack when you have company over for the game.

Whiskey Caramel Corn with Cocoa Nibs Recipe from Confectionalism

I made a few batches of this for Christmas Gifts last year, and they were a huge hit. The only complaints I received were that I didn’t make more. The caramel is rich and buttery, and the malty flavors of the whisky are left behind, while the alcohol is cooked off. The nibs catch in the crevices of the kernels and are a bitter chocolatey compliment that adorns every handful. The honey used hear is a less traditional alternative to corn syrup, and it adds a lovely floral note to the salty sweet snack. You might make a double batch of this… It goes crazy fast and you don’t want anyone fighting over the last handful while the game is on.

Whiskey Caramel Corn with Cocoa Nibs Recipe on Confectionalism.comWhiskey Caramel Corn with Cocoa Nibs Recipe from Confectionalism

5.0 from 1 reviews
Whiskey Caramel Corn with Cocoa Nibs
Recipe type: Snack
Yields: 10 cups
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 brown paper bag
  • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup Irish whiskey
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick)
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  1. Place the popcorn kernels and vegetable oil in a bowl and stir to coat kernels in the oil.
  2. Place the kernels in a brown paper bag and fold the bag over two-three times to seal shut.
  3. Microwave on high for 3-3½ minutes until there is a 2 to 3 second pause between pops. (time varies by microwave, so listen for pops)
  4. Place popcorn in a large bowl.
  5. Preheat Oven to 250 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
  6. Pour whiskey into a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Add brown sugar, honey, unsalted butter, and lemon juice (the lemon juice is not detected in the caramel, it just helps to prevent crystallization while cooking).
  7. Bring to a rolling boil on medium-high heat, but do not stir, gently swirl the ingredients in the pan occasionally to help ingredients incorporate. Stirring will cause crystallization of the caramel. Boil for 5-6 min, or until caramel reaches 242 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Watch carefully so to avoid burning the caramel. If the mixture starts to burn to edges of pan, remove from the heat.
  8. Once boiled and removed from heat, quickly add the Nibs, salt, baking soda, and then vanilla all at once. Stir to combine and pour over the popcorn. Toss and fold gently to evenly coat the popcorn with the caramel and cocoa nibs.
  9. Spread the popcorn in an even layer on the lined baking sheet, but be gentle as to not squash the popcorn.
  10. Place in the oven for 50 min, turning and flipping the popcorn every 15 min to continue coating the popcorn.
  11. Remove from oven and let cool for five minutes. Using a gloved hand or spatula, break apart the caramel corn to desired clump size. If the popcorn cools completely before you break the kernels apart the will form a mass. It isn't necessary to break them apart before they harden, but I like the kernels to be individual rather than formed in clumps. They still taste amazing no matter how you break them apart.
  12. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. If they becomes sticky or soft, spread out on a baking sheet and dry them in a 200 degree oven until crisp.

Whiskey Caramel Corn with Cocoa Nibs Recipe from Confectionalism

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Written by

I'm Nicole. Ceo, Pastry Chef, and Photographer for I'm a lover of sweets, art, and an avid puppy cuddler. I hope my recipes, kitchen tips, tricks, and culinary adventures inspire you to put your "Creativity to Plate!" You can read more about me and Confectionalism on the About Confectionalism link in the Menu bar to the far left of the site. Happy Cooking! Sincerely, Nicole

7 thoughts on “Whiskey Caramel Corn with Cocoa Nibs”

  1. This popcorn looks great, and what amazing unique flavors! I just posted a caramel popcorn recipe on the wonderful Wednesday blog hop and I saw your post and I just had to come visit! Loving it here and this recipe for popcorn!

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