This sweet matcha caramel popcorn might just be your new fave treat!
In a medium saucepan, add water and sugar over medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar as the water heats up and let it come to a low simmer which takes about 6 to 8 minutes. Let it reduce by about half which should take about another 5 to 6 minutes. The bubbles will start to get larger. The syrup will coat a wooden spoon but still drip off of it easily.
Once this simple syrup is reduced, whisk in the 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, sea salt, and 2 teaspoons of matcha powder off of the heat. You should have a caramel that is starting to thicken slightly as it cools while you’re whisking this together. Pour it into a glass measuring cup and let it cool down at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile you can pop the popcorn in two 1/2 cup batches. Heat a large pot with a tight fitting lid over medium-high heat. Add a 1/3 cup of coconut oil and 2 popcorn kernels. Place a tight fitting lid on the pot. Wait to hear the kernels pop. Then add a 1/2 cup of the jumbo popcorn kernels. It’s tempting to do more than that, but you will end up with more un-popped kernels in the end. They should begin popping in about 10 seconds. Shake the pot every 10 to 20 seconds or so, so the kernels don’t burn.
Once the pot has settled and the popcorn has finished popping, carefully remove the lid and place the popcorn into a large mixing bowl. Once you pop the second batch of kernels allow them to cool but leave it in the pot. Preheat the oven 250°F.
When the popcorn is cooled pour in half the matcha caramel into the pot and use a rubber spatula as well as one hand to toss and coat the popcorn evenly with matcha caramel. Pour the remaining half into the bowl of popcorn and toss and coat it in the caramel as well.
Spread the popcorn onto 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat in one even layer.
Dust each batch with another 1/4 teaspoon each of matcha powder pushed through a fine mesh sieve and shaken over the tray of popcorn evenly.
(updated instructions) Place the baking trays on separate racks in the middle of the oven. Bake for 60 minutes total tossing the popcorn about every 20 minutes and swapping the trays on the opposite rack. Let the popcorn completely cool out of the oven before packaging into the tin as a gift.
This is, of course, is best made on the day you’re giving it as a gift for prime freshness. It lasted up to 3 days before getting a little too stale for me.
FYI, baking instructions were updated as of October 2019!