Cinnamon Bun Caramel Corn

Cinnamon Bun Caramel Corn @ NancyC

SallysCandyAddicitonWhen I think of autumn flavors, cinnamon is one of the first to come to mind for me. I use cinnamon in quick breads, muffins, cakes, all kinds of treats…and I guess that’s why this Cinnamon Bun Caramel Corn stood out to me. I found it in my review copy of Sally’s Candy Addiction: Tasty Truffles, Fudges & Treats for Your Sweet-Tooth Fix. Written by Sally McKenney, the blogger behind Sally’s Baking Addiction, this book has over 75 recipes for wonderful homemade sweets and colorful photos of them that show how irresistible they are.

Just to give you an idea of what you’ll find in this cookbook, here are some recipes that were calling out to me:

  • Southern-Style Pecan Pralines
  • Chocolate-Dipped Cocoa Marshmallows
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Bark
  • Mint Truffles
  • Chocolate Sea-Salt Caramels
  • Salted English Toffee
  • Overloaded Cinnamon Spice Brittle
  • Pretzel M&M’s Puppy Chow
  • Birthday Cake Fudge
  • Crazy Candy Deep-Dish Cookie Cake

So you get the idea…so many yummy things to try!

And as I mentioned, because cinnamon has been on my mind with the arrival of fall, I had to try the Cinnamon Bun Caramel Corn. Inspired by a caramel sticky bun drizzled with vanilla glaze, this caramel corn has a yummy, slightly cinnamony caramel coating and it’s drizzled with melted white chocolate–a combination that’s hard to resist! Here’s the recipe if you want to try it…

CINNAMON BUN CARAMEL CORN from Sally’s Candy Addiction

Makes 7 cups

  • 7 cups air-popped popcorn
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used 1 cup of white chocolate chips)
  1. Preheat oven to 200˚F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Spread the popcorn evenly onto the baking sheets. Set aside.
  2. Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt in a 3-quart heavy-duty saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until butter has melted. Next, bring to a boil while stirring occasionally. allow to boil for 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the baking soda. The caramel will immediately foam and bubble. Give it a quick stir, then stir in the vanilla and cinnamon. Pour the caramel over the popcorn and toss gently until all of the kernels are coated.
  3. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Allow to cool on the pans, then break apart large clusters if desired. Melt the white chocolate,* being careful not to overheat it. Once melted, immediately drizzle over the caramel corn and allow to cool.

Once cooled, store in an airtight container at room temperature in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks.

*To melt chocolate in the microwave: Place the chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and place the bowl in the microwave. Heat on 50 percent power in 15- to 20-second increments, stirring the chocolate between each increment (It took about 90 seconds for me to melt my 1 cup of vanilla chips). Also, Sally advises: When microwaving, you don’t need to completely melt the chocolate before removing it from the microwave, because the warmed chocolate will continue to melt as you stir it. Always stop early to be safe.

You do have to work fast once the caramel is finished cooking–pour it over the popped corn right after you mix in the baking soda, cinnamon, and vanilla; if you don’t work fast, the caramel will start thickening as it cools and won’t be as pourable–and your caramel corn won’t be coated quite so evenly.

Caramel Corn is one of my favorite sweets and I really liked how this recipe tasted. Are you a fan of caramel corn too?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Simply Sundays, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, Sunday Features, Inspire Me Monday, Show and Share,

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A Taste of Provence-Tomatoes Provençal


DownloadedFileHave you ever been to Provence? I have never been to France but if I have the chance to go, Provence will be one of the areas I want to visit! This region of southern France stretches from the Mediterranean to the hills of Haute Provence, and from the Rhone River valley to the Italian Alps. It was the site of the first Roman colony beyond Italy and today it’s known for fragrant lavender fields, beautiful beaches like Cannes, Saint-Tropez, and Nice, quaint small villages, and fine wines and food. The cuisine of this area includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, extra virgin olive oil, and nuts–basically the core of the healthy Mediterranean diet.

I learned these things and more about Provence as I was looking through my review copy of Provence Food and Wine: The Art of Living, by François Millo and Viktorija Todorovska. This softcover book introduces you to the geography, history, traditions, wines, and recipes of the region. Here are some images of Provence you’ll find in the book:


Above images used with permission © François Milo.

Isn’t it beautiful? You’ll find more full color photography of picturesque Provence as well as many of the 47 recipes in the book, which are traditional favorites of the region…like Niçoise Salad, Fougasse with Tomatoes, Olives, and Peppers, Artichokes Barigoule, Tapenade, Swiss Chard Tart, Mediterranean Cod with Caramelized Onions, and Lemon Tart. The recipes are organized by the different areas of Provence that they’re popular in–Aix-en-Provence and Haute Provence, Marseille, La Cote Varoise, and Nice and the Riviera.

I decided to try the recipe for Tomatoes Provençal, because I love tomatoes and this is a simple yet delicious way to fix them–fresh tomatoes topped with a mix of breadcrumbs, chopped fresh parsley, and minced garlic. This makes a great side dish and would even work nicely for a spring or summer brunch. The book recommends serving “as a light meal with other Provençal delicacies and some crusty bread, or with meat.” For best results, use fresh, sweet, ripe tomatoes!

 TOMATOES PROVENÇAL from Provence Food and Wine: The Art of Living

Makes 4 servings

This traditional Provençial dish relies on the quality of the tomatoes used; they must be fresh and ripe. It’s best to prepare this dish in the summer, when tomatoes are at the peak of ripeness, sweet, and full of flavor….

  • 4 small to medium ripe tomatoes, halved and stems removed
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (64 g) chopped fresh parsley (I used Italian flat leaf parsley)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs (I used the very fine breadcrumbs you purchase, but I think fresh breadcrumbs would be even better!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Optional: I added some additional chopped parsley for garnish

Lightly dust the cut sides of the tomatoes with the sugar.

In a large sauté pan, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, cut sides down, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until they caramelize.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the parsley and garlic.

Flip the tomatoes and distribute the parsley and garlic mixture evenly onto them, pressing down so the mixture adheres to the tomato. Sprinkle with the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the black pepper. Distribute the breadcrumbs evenly among the tomatoes.

Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and fully cooked through. Remove from the heat. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Transfer the tomatoes to a serving dish and serve warm. Note: I drizzled the remaining olive oil from the sauté pan over the tomatoes and garnished them with additional chopped parsley.

I thought the blend of parsley, garlic, olive oil, and touch of sea salt made a great flavor combination as a topping for the tomatoes.

Have you made or tasted this dish before? And are you ready to take a trip to Provence now? :)

Down-Home Tomatoes with Okra


HealthySlowCookerCooking with a slow cooker is so convenient, and it’s even better when you can make healthy meals in it! I recently received a review copy of The Healthy Slow Cooker, Second Edition, and found that it not only includes lots of healthy gluten-free recipes, but also has additional information about the health benefits of many of the ingredients. The book starts off with helpful tips on using your slow cooker, and then you’ll find recipes for Breakfast, Starters and Snacks, Soups, Poultry, Fish and Seafood, Beef and Veal, Pork and Lamb, Vegetarian Mains, Sides and Sauces, and Desserts.

Some of the recipes include Warm Black Bean Salsa, Gingery Carrot Soup with Orange and Parsley, French Basil Chicken, Texas-Style Chili con Carne, Mixed Vegetables in Spicy Peanut Sauce, Creamy Polenta with Corn and Chiles, and Poached Pears in Chocolate Sauce. All recipes include information on Calories and Nutrients per serving, too.

I decided to try the Down-Home Tomatoes with Okra because I’ve never made an okra dish, and thought it was about time! I don’t eat okra that often, but learned from this book that it’s very good for you. Okra “…provides glutathione, an antioxidant that supports the immune system and assists your body with eliminating toxins (pg. 291)….”

Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try it out! I was a little surprised to see that it had bacon in it, but the book points out which type of bacon is healthiest to use (see recipe below). I used turkey bacon because I already had some on hand.

DOWN-HOME TOMATOES WITH OKRA from The Healthy Slow Cooker, Second Edition

Makes 6 servings

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil (15 mL)
  • 4 ounces chunk bacon, diced (125 g) I used turkey bacon–the book recommends using bacon without additives and synthetic nitrates and made from pigs that have been pastured, which is higher in omega-3 fatty acids
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (2 mL)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns (2 mL)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added tomatoes including juice (796 mL)
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 cups sliced (1/2 inch or 1 cm) okra, about 12 ounces (375 g)-I used a 12-ounce bag of sliced frozen okra, thawed

In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring, until nicely browned, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, salt, and peppercorns and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.

Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours, until hot and bubbly. Add bell pepper and okra. Cover and cook on High for about 30 minutes, until okra is tender.

Nutrients Per Serving: Calories 101; Protein 4.4 g; Carbohydrates 12.2 g; Fat (Total) 4.5 g (Saturated Fat 1.1 g; Monounsaturated Fat 2.7 g; Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g); Dietary Fiber 3.0 g; Sodium 339 mg; Cholesterol 6 mg. Excellent source of vitamins C and K; Good source of potassium; Source of Vitamins A and B-6, folate, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and zinc; Contains a moderate amount of dietary fiber.

Courtesy The Healthy Slow Cooker, Second Edition by Judith Finlayson © 2014 Reprinted with publisher permission.


You may want to add some additional seasoning to taste before serving. Do you have a favorite way you like to prepare okra?