This easy recipe for caramel corn has an apple spice twist thanks to apple cider drink mix and bakes up crisp and crunchy in the oven.
Preheat oven to 300° Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray. Set aside. Pour popcorn in a large bowl, allowing plenty of room for mixing with caramel later. Add pecans on top. Set aside.
In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, bring butter, sugar and Karo syrup to a boil while stirring constantly. Let the caramel low boil for 2 minutes while continuing to stir. Stir in drink packets.
Remove from heat and add vanilla, salt and baking soda right away. Stir in quickly. The baking soda will begin to react to the caramel, bubbling, making the caramel fluffier and a lighter color.
Pour the caramel over the popcorn and pecans. Mix quickly to coat popcorn before the caramel becomes too stiff. Don't worry too much about crushing the popcorn as you stir, and it's ok if some of the kernels aren't completely coated.
Remove the caramel coated popcorn from the bowl and press into a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes in preheated oven. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before breaking into pieces to serve.