Saturday, 29 October 2011

Caramel Corn

This afternoon the Bookworm family had our annual jaunt at the local pumpkin patch.  We got lost in the corn maze, saw some knarly squash and picked out a few mighty fine specimens of pumpkin to carve up for Monday night!  Get out the power tools, honey!  It's pumpkin carvin' time!  {Yes, Brad is known for his aptitude in pumpkin carving using various power tools.  He's Picasso with a power drill.  He's Michaelangelo with a mitre saw (truth be told he uses a hack saw not a mitre saw but I couldn't think of a famous artist that started with 'H').  Either way you say it he has a gift for power pumpkin carvin'.  It's a gift, what can I say?}.

When we got home after all that outdoor family fun time I went in the kitchen and had the urge to make something.  A sweet treat for my family that we could snack on for our movie night.  This is when I remembered that I'd recently seen a tasty looking recipe for Caramel Corn.  The recipe comes from one of my favourite blogs, "Made in Melissa's Kitchen" {take a peek at her blog here} and is the tastiest caramel corn I've ever had.  It's sweet with a hint of saltiness.  It has a light crunch and is ever so slightly spongy inside.  In other words, perfect. 

I must admit that caramel corn is a treat that I've never made before.  I quite enjoy eating it but just haven't made it at home.  Perhaps it's because of the sticky factor?  {Goodness knows that's why I don't love making Rice Krispie Squares}.  Who knows.  What I do know is that I should have made caramel corn a LONG, LONG time ago!

Not only was this treat really easy (and not nearly as sticky as Rice Krispie Squares) but it ... is ... AWESOME and totally addicting!!  Just ask my family who ate almost half of it this afternoon.  It tastes like you've melted bags of Werther's Original butterscotch candies over popcorn.   While this treat is really easy to make the only downside it has is that it takes about an hour to make.  But when you see how my family schnorffed this treat down, it's probably just as well since if it was easy and quick my family and I would cease to have 20 teeth in each of our heads!

It's for that reason that I sent Karate Guy on his bike to deliver a bag of caramel corn to our friends a few blocks away.  I had a couple reasons for sharing our treat.  First, two big containers of caramel corn is a lot for 5 people plus I wanted to see what other people thought of this yummy treat .  It was that good!   I hope you and yours enjoy this treat as much as we did!

Caramel Corn

Yield: 6 quarts

1 cup unpopped popping kernels (approx. 6 quarts of popped popcorn)
1 cup butter
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda

Pop popcorn (I used an air popper) and place in a really BIG bowl (or use two big bowls to make stirring easier).  Set popcorn aside.

Preheat oven to 250F.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Once the butter is melted add the corn syrup, brown sugar and salt.  Mix well.   Increase temperature to medium-high and bring butter mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.  Allow mixture to continue boiling for 5 minutes - do not stir.

Remove saucepan from heat and add vanilla and baking soda.  The mixture will bubble up and froth a fair bit.

Pour butter mixture over popcorn and stir until well combined.   Pour popcorn onto the two prepared baking sheets and spread out the popcorn as much as possible.  Don't worry if not all of the popcorn is covered in the caramel.  As you mix it while it bakes the caramel will coat the bare popcorn.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or until popcorn mixture is crispy.  Wait until popcorn has cooled completely before breaking caramel corn into pieces (caramel stays hot for quite awhile). 

Source: Inspired by


Mmm... is for Mommy said...

I was planning on making caramel popcorn tomorrow, so bookmarked! I haven't made it in years.

Melissa said...

Isn't it so good?! I think I am going to make another batch today and mix it with some candy corn for work tomorrow.

Jen at The Three Little Piglets said...

That sounds so good right now! I haven't made caramel corn in years. Probably cause the last time I made popcorn balls I started shaping them when it was too hot and burnt the palms of my hands pretty badly... that might have something to do with it! Sounds like you had a great time with your family.

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

I ended up making two batches. The kids wanted me to bake some sugar cookies for their class parties but, for some unknown reason, the dough didn't turn out. Inside I was kind of happy b/c I was utterly exhausted and just thinking about baking 100+ sugar cookies and icing them made me want to cry. But I had promised treats ... so caramel corn (which my kids LOVED) it was! A big hit! :)

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