Caramel Nut Popcorn

One of my favorite, decadent foods is caramel corn. I found this recipe which I think will be perfect for the Oscar party we are attending and even doubles as a hostess gift. I dare you to stop at just three bites! 



  • 3 qt (12 cups) freshly popped corn

  • 1 cup roasted cashews

  • 1 cup macadamia nuts

  • 1 cup roasted almonds

  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

  • ½ cup light corn syrup

  • ½ cup unsalted butter

  • 1 tbsp finely grated orange zest

  • ½ tsp kosher salt

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • ½ tsp baking soda


Preheat oven to 250F. Butter a large roasting pan, combine the popped corn, cashews, macadamia nuts and almonds in the pan. Spread the mixture out into an even layer. Place the pan in the oven to warm the ingredients while you make the caramel glaze. In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, orange zest and salt. Bring to a boil stirring until the sugar dissolves. Boil for 4 minutes without stirring, remove from the heat, and stir in the vanilla and baking soda. Pour the hot glaze over the warm popcorn mixture and stir to coat. Return the pan to the oven and bake, stirring occasionally until the glaze is dry, about one hour. Using a metal spatula, free the popcorn mixture from the bottom of the pan. Let cool completely in the pan, then break into clumps and serve. 


Glazed Mocha-Walnut Brownies

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I am featuring a brownie that marries two of most people’s loves,  “chocolate” and “coffee.” I am not a fan of plain coffee unless it is diluted  with milk or chocolate. I do, however, love anything “mocha,” and thus was compelled to bake these brownies. The recipe is a bit fussy with the use of a double boiler, but trust me, the result is worth it; the aroma alone, makes it all worthwhile! They are incredibly delicious and they disappeared before I could cut them into bite sized pieces. Yale took the entire pan back to his house at USC for his roommates to enjoy. I love that!




  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter

  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped

  • 2 tsp instant coffee powder

  • ½ cup all purpose flour

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

  • ¼ Tbsp kosher salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 ½ cups firmly packed light brown sugar

  • 1 cup walnut pieces, lightly roasted

  • 3 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped


Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9 inch square pan. Butter the paper and dust with flour, shaking out the excess.

In a saucepan, melt 6 tbsp of the butter, the 4oz unsweetened chocolate, and 2 tsp of the coffee powder over low heat, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

Sift the flour, ½ tsp of the cinnamon, and the salt into a bowl. In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the brown sugar, then whisk the chocolate mixture. Stir in the dry ingredients just until blended. Fold in the walnuts. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 40 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.




  • 3 oz semi sweet chocolate

  • 6 Tbsp butter

  • 1 tsp coffee powder

  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Place all above ingredients in the top of a double boiler and stir often until melted and smooth. Chill the glaze stirring occasionally, until just spreadable but not set, about 15 minutes. Spread the glaze on the brownies, stand until set.