Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Blend Caramel Kettle Corn with Peanuts Serves 8 to 10 (or two guys with a super sweet tooth)

Who doesn't love popcorn, and this time of year the sweet versions seem to be what everyone asks for. I love caramel or kettle corn just as much as the next person, but wanted to create something that wasn't too sweet. I opted for a combination of honey and buttery toffee, and then added just enough warm spice to keep the sweet toned down so I didn't feel like I was eating sugar-covered corn. My friends at The Spice and Tea Exchange have the perfect spice blends to play around with in their Fall Harvest Sampler. I've used the Autumn Blend and the Baker's Blend, but my Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend is magical in this recipe. Be sure to check out all The Spice and Tea Exchange spices by visiting Sign up for the newsletter and receive discount coupons for your orders!

Ingredients 1/4 cup honey 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (use even if you use the "butter" popcorn) 1/4 teaspoon TSTE* Pumpkin Pie Blend (or try TSTE's Baker's Blend and Autumn Blend for a deliciously different, but appealing taste profile) 8 to 10 cups of popped corn (from 2 mini to 2 large microwave popcorn bags) 1 cup toffee coated peanuts

Preparation Place a large rimmed sheet pan (or two) into the oven. Preheat oven to 300° F. Place the honey and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. As the butter melts, whisk to combine with the honey. When the butter is melted, whisk in TSTE Pumpkin Pie spice blend. Immediately remove from heat and continue whisking until the spice is incorporated and the mixture just begins to cool. Pour the mixture around the sides of a large, warmed mixing bowl. Add in the popcorn and the toffee coated peanuts. Using a spatula scrape the sides of the bowl to pick up some of the honey and spice mixture and toss with the popcorn. Continue until the mixture completely and evenly coats the popcorn and peanuts.

Remove the heated rimmed sheet pan(s) from the oven. Carefully turn the coated popcorn mixture out onto the pans and spread the mixture out. Return to the oven and bake for about 1 hour, tossing the mixture every 15 or 20 minutes, until the coating is dried on to the popcorn. If you have the pans on different racks, switch the pans about half way through the baking process. Remove from the oven and cool on the pans. Toss occasionally to break up any clumps. When cool serve.

*The Spice and Tea Exchange. Visit them online at

Recipe: Truffled Popcorn I love this recipe for the simple reason that without spending a lot of money you get real truffle taste.

Ingredients 1 1/2 sticks of butter 2 tablespoons of TSTE* Kibbled Mushrooms, pulverize in a spice grinder or food processor. 8 to 10 cups popped popcorn (from about 2 microwave bags (mini or large) 2 teaspoons TSTE Black Truffle Salt, more or less to taste

Preparation Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the pulverized kibble and stir. Let the kibble infuse into the butter while you prepare you popcorn. Place the popped popcorn in to a large mixing bowl. Pour the infused kibble around and on the interior side of the bowl. Using a large spatula mix the popcorn incorporating the melted kibble butter until the popcorn is evenly coated. Season with a generous sprinkle of TSTE Black Truffle Salt to taste. Serve immediately.

Chef's note: you can pour the kibbled butter directly onto the popcorn, but be forewarned the mixture will be quickly absorbed! To prevent a soggy batch try to pour the melted butter along the sides of the bowl before incorporating into the popcorn.

*The Spice and Tea Exchange. Visit them online at