Vegan, gluten free, and dairy free, this popcorn is sticky sweet, salty, and savory, and makes the perfect holiday snack!
Preheat the oven to 375 F and line two rimmed baking trays with parchment paper.
Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat; add the butter. When the butter melts, reduce heat to medium and add the popcorn kernels and salt. Cover the pan with a lid. Gently and constantly, shake the pan back and forth on the stove to keep the kernels from sticking to the bottom and burning. Shake gently for several minutes until the kernels begin to pop. Once they start popping, slide the lid just a little off the pan to allow steam to escape. Once the kernels have all popped and you stop hearing any popping for several seconds, immediately remove the popcorn from the heat and pour into a large bowl.
Heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the maple syrup and tahini or nut butter, whisking to incorporate. Bring the mixture to a boil. Boil 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly, until the maple syrup thickens. Don't boil any longer than a few minutes! Remove from heat; stir in the vanilla extract and salt.
Pour the popcorn onto the prepared baking pans. Pour the maple syrup mixture evenly over top the popcorn. You'll want to do this while the maple syrup is still hot. Place the pans into the oven at 375 F and bake for 6 minutes. Remove, and toss the popcorn gently with a spatula. Bake another 6 minutes, then remove and cool. Scatter the roasted cashews with the popcorn.
Place the chocolate and 1 tsp. coconut oil in a small bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments until completely melted. Drizzle chocolate over top the popcorn. Allow the chocolate to cool and harden, then break the popcorn into pieces and store in an airtight container. Best eaten the day it's made.
* If you want to roast your own cashews, simply place 1 1/2 c. plain raw cashews onto a baking tray. Roast at 375 F for 10 minutes, tossing halfway through. Cool.
Nutrition information per serving (about 1 cup):
Calories: 230 Protein: 5g Carbs: 25g Fat: 15g Fiber: 3g