I’m sick, again. I spent all Friday and Saturday on the couch, except for making some comfort food. I haven’t spent this much time on the couch since early university, and have slowed down for the first time in weeks. I guess this is what happens when you’re so busy you barely have time to sleep. In this forced downtime, I’ve accomplished a lot from the couch. I napped, I cuddled with my cat, I watched 5 movies, pinned an enormous amount of ideas for upcoming celebrations, and caught up on blogging about my most recent recipe successes.
Pinterest has lots of Easter candy themed treats being pinned. They’re so pretty, but unfortunately not something I can whip up for myself. I like the Easter candy treats that have chocolate and pretzels in them. I’ve looked everywhere for lactose-free varieties of M&M-like candy and peanut butter chips, but have been unsuccessful. Rather than be saddened that I can’t have those Pretzel Cookies with Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chips I covet, I found a way that I could enjoy something similar. Inspired by the Salted Caramel Easter Popcorn at Two Peas and Their Pod, I offer you this: Salted Caramel Chocolate Covered Pretzel Popcorn. It’s extra-special for a person who is lactose-intolerant, because both the chocolate covered pretzels and the caramel corn aren’t things I can enjoy. It’s not as pretty as the kind with Easter M&M’s, but still a delightful snack for watching movies on the couch.
Salted Caramel Chocolate Pretzel Popcorn
Yield: 4 large servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup lactose-free whipping cream (I treat whipping cream with Lactaid drops)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup lactose-free chocolate chips
2 handfuls pretzels
1/4 cup popcorn kernels
Sea salt, for sprinkling
1. Make popcorn with your air popper.
2. Melt the chocolate chips in a small bowl in the microwave, 30 seconds at a time. Stir after every 30 seconds, and continue to heat until all the chips are melted. Be careful – if you cook the chips too long and without stirring, they will burn and could even set on fire (I did this when I was a kid – not what you want to tell your parents you did).
3. When the chocolate has melted, dip pretzels in and place on a lined tray. Sprinkle with a little salt and put in the fridge to harden.
4. Put the sugar and water in a medium-sized heavy saucepan. Turn the heat to medium high, and cook without stirring.
3. When the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has started bubble and turn brown in spots, gently swirl the pot to mix.
4. The sugar will start to brown more rapidly. When it is an even golden colour, remove from heat and pour in the cream and vanilla. Carefully stir – the cream will cause the caramel to bubble up and even spit. If the caramel isn’t smooth yet, put back on the cooling burner and continue to stir. The residual heat will warm up the sugar and help the mixture relax.
5. Pour the caramel over the popcorn and gently stir with a spatula so all popcorn is evenly coated.
6. Add the chocolate covered pretzels and gently mix with the caramel corn. This will probably cause the chocolate to melt, but that’s ok!
7. Sprinkle the caramel corn and pretzels with a little bit of sea salt. Enjoy!
Note: When I made this, we had a serving each in our own little bowls(so 2), and then I bagged the rest in Ziploc baggies to take to work for my teacher friends.