Rachel Cooks

Kahlua and Espresso Bean Caramel Corn


I know you all think I’m obsessed with all things alcoholic. I swear I’m not. Really! PS: On a related totally unrelated note, did you read my NEW “About Me” page? Let me know what you think!

I am obsessed with popcorn though. That much is very, very, very true.

I’m quite fond of coffee as well. This caramel corn is pretty much a win-win. Trust me.

I poured the hot caramel right over the chocolate covered espresso beans and popcorn so that the chocolate melted and turned into pure deliciousness. If you would like perhaps a “prettier” caramel corn, stir them in after it has cooled. Then drizzle with more melted chocolate. I mean…it’s probably the best thing to do in that situation, right?

Kahlua and Espresso Bean Caramel Corn

1/2 cup unpopped corn
1 cup chocolate covered espresso beans
3 cups of granulated white sugar
1/4 cup Kahlua
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp baking soda

1. Pop the popcorn using an air popper (or on the stove with oil if you don’t have an air popper). Place popped popcorn in a large bowl or foil roasting pan (this works great if you have one available). Sprinkle chocolate covered espresso beans over the popcorn.
2. Cover one to two sheet pans with aluminum foil.
3. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, Kahlua, butter, vanilla, and salt. Heat over medium heat, stirring very often (I stirred nearly continuously). Continue to cook until sugar melts and caramel becomes a pretty brown (caramel) color. I think mine took about 15-20 minutes. Once it melts and turns a dark caramel color, trust your gut and act fast because it scorches quickly.
4. Add the baking soda (I measured it first and put it in a little bowl so I could add it all at once) and keep stirring. Be careful as it bubbles up quickly and almost doubles in quantity. Quickly remove from heat, pour over the popcorn and espresso beans and stir quickly to coat all the corn.
5. Spread the caramel corn out on foil lined sheet pans and allow to cool at least ten minutes before eating. Add more chocolate covered espresso beans if desired.

Verdict: Delicious!
Husband’s take:Β Loved it! Took it with him to work.
Changes I would make:Β None!
Difficulty: Moderate. Caramel can be tricky, but just keep an eye on it and trust your gut.

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49 Responses to “Kahlua and Espresso Bean Caramel Corn”

  1. Kathryn — March 23, 2012 at 5:43 am

    Oh wow, this looks like the most amazing popcorn ever! Crunchy caramely booze!

    PS I love chopping celery too.

  2. living the sweet life — March 23, 2012 at 7:55 am

    I’ve seen quite a few funky popcorn recipes lately, but this one is totally calling my name! YUUUMMM πŸ™‚

  3. Aunt Amy — March 23, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Celery – I feel like an “iron chef” when I chop it … fun:) And I’m eating kettle corn right now (for breakfast!). The site looks great!

    • Rachel — March 23rd, 2012 @ 8:14 am

      Yum. Kettle corn is good for any meal πŸ™‚

  4. Julie @ Table for Two — March 23, 2012 at 8:06 am

    no, you don’t need to say more because the second i read the title of this post, i KNEW it was gonna be good. loveee it!

  5. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — March 23, 2012 at 8:08 am

    This is so filled with yumminess! Love it!

  6. Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch — March 23, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Gracious! What a wonderful treat for popcorn! Love it!!!

    • Rachel — March 23rd, 2012 @ 9:12 am

      Thank you!

  7. Lauren at Keep It Sweet — March 23, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Hmmm maybe I need to sneak this into the Hunger Games with me tomorrow:-)

  8. Mackenzie — March 23, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Oh my gosh, I’m in love!! I’m eating this for dinner!!

  9. Nelly Rodriguez — March 23, 2012 at 10:07 am

    This could become an addictive snack, so I need to think realy hard before making it πŸ˜›

  10. Averie @ Averie Cooks — March 23, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Wow this looks fantastic! I love kahlua, popcorn, espresso…there is nothing about this that I don’t love, actually!

    Interesting that you say the sauce/marinade took 15-20 minutes. I have made similar recipes and usually I am looking at 5-10, max. Otherwise it would have been a burnt mess. That’s good to know in case I make this that it takes quite a while. It looks amazing!

  11. Katherine Martinelli — March 23, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Yum yum yum!! What a creative take on popcorn, I just love it.

  12. claire @ the realistic nutritionist — March 23, 2012 at 10:54 am

    This looks JUST perfect!!! I love it!

    • Rachel — March 23rd, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

      Thank you Claire!

  13. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — March 23, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Rachel, this is tastiest looking take on popcorn I’ve ever seen! It looks SO flavorful and delicious. Thanks for sharing. Also, I’m having a great giveaway today with four potential prize winners, so you should enter!

    • Rachel — March 23rd, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

      Thanks Georgia, I’ll check it out! I like winning stuff πŸ™‚

  14. Cassie — March 23, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Love the new about me page! I rarely drink but love cooking with alcohol. Great flavors!

    • Rachel — March 23rd, 2012 @ 2:30 pm


  15. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — March 23, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Wow, I think you just made caramel corn on crack. Can’t wait to give this a try!

    • Rachel — March 23rd, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

      That’s what I was going for πŸ˜‰

  16. Jessie — March 23, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    I’ll be over to help taste test in a little bit. πŸ˜‰ My dad swears by air poppers too. What kind do you have? I was thinking about getting him a new one for his bday next month. His is from the 80’s.

  17. Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef — March 23, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    My God, I think I could live on this. I don’t have an air popper but I’m sure I’d eat healthier if I did. Shopping list!

  18. Tracey — March 23, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Salty, sweet, boozy – what doesn’t this popcorn have?? It looks awesome!

  19. Choc Chip Uru — March 24, 2012 at 6:55 am

    This is one of the coolest popcorn variations ever! Coffee an popcorn? Heck yea πŸ˜€
    Love how delicious it looks!

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Colossal Caramel Peanut Monster Cookies

  20. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — March 25, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Looks like the ideal snack to me!

  21. Baking Serendipity — March 26, 2012 at 12:11 am

    I think you’ve made the absolute perfect caramel corn. Let’s sneak this into a showing of The Hunger Games together soon…mkay? πŸ™‚

  22. The Food Hunter — March 26, 2012 at 2:03 am

    My husband is going to love this

  23. Bree — March 26, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    This looks sinfully delicious!!

  24. nat@thesweetslife — March 26, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    oh my gosh. AMAZING. i’ve been obsessed with this bourbon bacon caramel corn for awhile now and the thought that i can now also have one featuring kahlua is just awesome!:)

  25. Deanna — March 26, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Oh, that has everything I love to eat in one bite. My obsession with popcorn knows no bounds. Unless its microwave or movie theater popcorn…then there might be some issues.

  26. Melissa Klotz — March 26, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    This is such a good idea!! I’ve been obsessed with caramel corn and the like since I found white chocolate drizzled cinnamon kettle corn at Whole Foods. The brand is Popcorn Indiana, it’s to die for!!! I used to love Kahlua so this recipe looks awesome!

  27. cookingrookie — May 7, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    wow, this looks sooooo tasty! Yum!

    • Rachel — May 8th, 2012 @ 7:12 am

      Thanks so much!


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