Sriracha Popcorn Balls for Halloween

I am not one of those Sriracha superfans. You know the ones. They carry Sriracha bottles around with them and put it on everything. In fact, I rarely use the stuff at all. But these days there is Sriracha chocolate, Sriracha chips, Sriracha candy.

Recently I started making Sriracha popcorn and just love it.  It's got the Sriracha flavor but without the heat. That is, it has the sugar/vinegar Sriracha flavor, but it loses a lot of the spicy heat when thinned out with the coconut oil.

I knew I wanted to make Sriracha popcorn balls for Halloween, but I wanted to maintain the heat that so many people love.  The way to do it....with the peanuts.

When I eat caramel corn I need to have the peanuts. To me they are the best part. So I decided to take the peanuts, coat them in Sriracha, and roast them in the oven.  

Success! Now you have the sweetness of the Sriracha caramel corn, but still have the spice when you eat the peanuts. 

Sriracha Popcorn Ball

1/2 cup of unroasted peanuts
3 Tablespoon of Sriracha sauce

1/2 cup butter, unsalted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2-3 Tablespoons Sriracha
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
5 cups popped popcorn

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the popcorn into a large mixing bowl.

In a small bowl toss the peanuts and 3 Tablespoons Sriracha to coat the peanuts. Spread them out evenly on a Silpat lined baking sheet or a baking stone. Roast for 20 minutes. Keep an eye on them because the Sriracha can burn. Remove from oven and let cool. When cooled, add them to the popcorn.

In a medium saucepan melt together the butter and brown sugar over medium high heat. Let boil for about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the corn syrup, Sriracha, vanilla, and baking soda. The mixture will foam up a bit. Immediately pour over the popcorn and peanuts and stir well to make sure all the popcorn is evenly coated. 

Put on a pair of vinyl kitchen gloves and take enough popcorn to squeeze together and form a ball about the size of a baseball. Set to cool on some waxed paper. 

Enjoy or wrap the balls in plastic wrap to save for later.