Copycat Buc-ee's Beaver Nuggets

Copycat Buc-ee's Beaver Nuggets in popcorn container
Let's start with the obvious question...


Copycat Buc-ee's Beaver Nuggets
If you've ever road-tripped through Texas, you might have come across a chain of gas stations/convenience stores called Buc-ee's®. They're just about the best thing on a long Texas road trip. They boast the cleanest restrooms (and, I think, the largest), and a cult following due to their cute little mascot, in-house goodies (like BBQ, jerky, banana pudding, fudge, roasted nuts), and yes...Beaver Nuggets.

*this post is sponsored by Imperial Sugar ♥

Beaver Nuggets are a little like kettle corn or caramel corn. Instead of popcorn, though, the nuggets are puffcorn. Big, fluffy, no-kernel puffcorn. Confession: I don't like caramel's too dark, too sticky, too crunchy, but THESE are different - light, fluffy, with a slight crunch and the most delicious buttery flavor.

Copycat Buc-ee's Beaver Nuggets
They're actually pretty easy to make at home...and I dare say, BETTER!!! Be careful, though, they are outrageously addictive.

puffcorn for beaver nuggets
For this recipe, I used Old Dutch Puffcorn, and I recommend it highly! I had to order it online, although it looks like some Target stores might carry it. Must be a regional delicacy.

The nuggets get coated in a caramel sauce, so you'll need the usual butter and'll also need some flavoring. The ingredients list on a bag of Beaver Nuggets is a little vague, listing "flavors," although it does list butter flavoring. But Mr. E nailed the taste when he described it as "like a waffle with syrup." 

I was able to track down an older version of the label (thank you, interwebs) which listed "maple flavoring" as an ingredient. This combination of extracts and flavorings in this recipe is the SECRET to getting the Beaver Nuggets flavor spot on. Ding, ding, ding!!!

Speaking of waffles, have you tried these Cinnamon Sugar Waffles with Cinnamon Peanut Butter Maple Drizzle???

Make the caramel sauce on the stove, stir in the extracts, and pour over the puffcorn. Spread the coated puffcorn onto a rimmed cookie sheet. You'll bake this for 45 minutes, stirring every so often. The baking crisps up the caramelly coating.

Copycat Buc-ee's Beaver Nuggets
Once baked, pour the nuggets onto your countertop or a large cutting board and let them cool. Once cooled, break apart any that have stuck together. Store in an airtight container (we use a large ziptop bag).

Copycat Buc-ee's Beaver Nuggets
Copycat Buc-ee's Beaver Nuggets
Homemade Beaver Nuggets - no road trip necessary! I do highly recommend a stop at Buc-ee's®, though. 

I'm sharing the recipe over on Imperial Sugar (another Texas institution) today! 

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