Popcorn is a snack that’s healthy and delicious (low in calories and high in fiber); one of those foods that almost everyone enjoys. There are a variety of ways to prepare popcorn, from hot and spicy to herbed and cheesy. Today we’re going to talk about a sweet version you can make at home—dulce de leche, which basically means “sweet milk” in Spanish (dulce: sweet, leche: milk).
This isn’t a treat you’ll want to have every day if you’re counting calories, but if you’re in the mood to indulge, and have the time to make it (about 5-6 hours), then by all means give it a try. Yes, there are quicker ways to have sweet popcorn. You can buy a box of Cracker Jacks, Crunch n Munch, or Fiddle Faddle. But this homemade version is worth the time and effort, and it’s always fun to try something new.
Start with a single can of sweetened condensed milk, about 14 ounces or so. Choose a can without the pop-top lid. Remove the label, but leave the can unopened.
Set the unopened can of sweetened condensed milk into a pan of water, making sure the water covers the can about 1-2 inches. Bring this water to a gentle boil, and keep it at a gentle boil, making sure that the water stays 1-2 inches over the top of the can at all times. Add water as it evaporates.
Let the can of sweetened condensed milk gently boil for 3 hours, turning the can upside down once in the water with tongs midway through.
After the can of sweetened condensed milk has gently boiled for 3 hours total, remove the can with tongs and set can onto cookie rack or pot holder to cool to room temperature. Do not open the can until it has reached room temperature. This can take 2 or more hours.
Once can of sweetened condensed milk has reached room temperature, it’s time to pop your corn, using everyday stove-popped or microwave popcorn—the equivalent of 3 microwaved bags will do.
Once it’s popped, spread all of it out in a single layer onto baking sheets or silicon mats.
Now it’s time to open your cooled can of sweetened condensed milk. It will now be a rich golden brown color, and tastes close to caramel. Open the can and slowly drizzle it over the popcorn until the can is empty.
No need to soak the popcorn or cover completely, as this can make the popcorn mushy. Drizzling will do. The popcorn will be partly crisp, partly soft.
And now you have dulce de leche popcorn.
What you do with it from here is up to you.
You can top with peanuts, serve and eat immediately, or scoop it into Ziploc baggies to put into lunchboxes or backpacks.
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