Why this spicy caramel popcorn didn’t already exist, we have no idea.
Makes 4 cups
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
8 cups popped plain popcorn (from ½ cup kernels)
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup Sriracha sauce
3 tablespoons unsalted margarine, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 300°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly coat parchment and a large bowl with nonstick spray; add popcorn to bowl. Set baking sheet aside. Bring sugar and ¼ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil, swirling pan occasionally, until caramel is a deep amber color, 10–12 minutes.
Remove from heat; stir in hot sauce and margarine (mixture will bubble vigorously). Return to a boil and cook another 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in salt, baking soda, and cayenne. Working quickly (and carefully—caramel will be very hot), pour caramel mixture over popcorn and toss to coat.
Spread out popcorn on prepared baking sheet and bake, tossing once, until dry, 15–20 minutes. Let cool.