This Gingerbread Caramel Pretzel Popcorn is totally irresistible! If you’re a fan of gingerbread you MUST give it a try! The recipe makes the perfect amount for indulging on your own AND for sharing with family and friends this holiday season!
This Gingerbread Caramel Pretzel Popcorn comes with a warning…highly addictive…must wear stretchy pants while consuming…
Seriously so good folks!!
I’ve made caramel corn before. In fact here at the BHK, I posted my recipe for Gram’s Pecan Caramel Corn way back in 2015 and it’s a winner. So when I saw this recipe in Real Simple Magazine this month for this gingerbread version, I knew I needed to give it a try.
Gingerbread Caramel Pretzel Popcorn Ingredients
- microwave salted popcorn
- mini salted pretzels
- ground cinnamon
- kosher salt
- baking soda
- ground ginger
- ground cloves
- ground nutmeg
- light brown sugar
- unsalted butter
- light corn syrup
- vanilla extract
I know there are a few spices you’ll need for this recipe, but it’s always great to have these on hand for the holiday season for cookies, cakes, donuts…lots of different delicious options.
You’ll also need a candy thermometer for this recipe. I have this one and I’ve had it for years. It works great and it’s not expensive at all. The recipe in Real Simple says you don’t need a candy thermometer because you can drip a smidge of the syrupy mixture into a glass of cold water and when the sugar quickly forms a stiff ball that’s sticky to the touch then it’s reached 255 degrees. I’m just more of an exact type of person and I like to read the thermometer. You decide.
How to make this Gingerbread Caramel Pretzel Popcorn
You’ll combine your popped popcorn and pretzels in a very large heatproof bowl. Then you’ll add your brown sugar, butter and corn syrup to a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil while you’re stirring it constantly. You’ll reduce the temperature and continue to cook it until it’s thickened and has reached 255 degrees then remove it from the heat.
Once you remove it from the heat, you’ll add your spices and vanilla extract and mix it quickly until well combined before pouring over your popcorn/pretzel mixture. Using a large rubber spatula you will need to toss the popcorn mixture until everything is fully coated. Again, you’ll need to work quickly because the sugar mixture will begin to cool and harden.
Add the popcorn mixture to two large parchment-lined baking sheets and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes until you see everything start to brown and look nice and shiny.
You will want to cool the popcorn on the baking sheets to room temperature before breaking into pieces and then storing in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. I like to add mine to little cellophane gift bags with holiday ribbon and gift to friends and family.
I really think you’re going to enjoy the buttery gingerbread flavor of this popcorn. It’s such a great snack for this time of year!
Please let me know if you give the recipe a try. And if you have any questions about the recipe, just drop a comment below. Enjoy!
A Few Cook’s Notes for Gingerbread Caramel Pretzel Popcorn
As mentioned above, you can use a candy thermometer or use the tip from Real Simple to know when your mixture gets to temperature.
I used really mini pretzels by Snyder’s Pretzels. If you can’t find super mini pretzels you can use ones that are a bit bigger, just break them into smaller pieces.
You could also add some nuts to the caramel corn too. I would add about one cup.
More Delicious Gingerbread Recipes to Try
Gingerbread Caramel Pretzel PopcornPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 16 cups popped salted popcorn
- 10 oz. mini salted pretzels
- 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Stir together popcorn and pretzels in an extra large heatproof bowl. In a small bowl combine cinnamon, salt, baking soda, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.
- Add brown sugar, butter and corn syrup to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low. Clip on a candy thermometer to the pot and simmer until thickened and until the thermometer registers 255 degrees, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and add the spices and vanilla extract and mix well.
- Immediately pour the sugar mixture over the popcorn. Using a rubber spatula toss quickly until the popcorn and pretzels are well coated. Divide the mixture between the two prepared sheets and bake for 10 minutes until shiny and slightly darkened. Cool on baking sheets to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.