Thursday, December 16, 2010

Caramel Corn

Tomorrow is Taylor's Christmas party at school.  They asked for volunteers to send in treats.  I had a hard time deciding what to send to school with Taylor.  I narrowed it down to either rice krispie treats or homemade caramel corn.  The caramel corn won, mostly because I never made it before.  I love trying out new recipes.  I have to say, it was really easy and tasted INCREDIBLE!! This stuff is addicting, really :)
Tony helped me package them in cute Christmas themed snack bags.  We made 25 of the little suckers.  Here's the recipe, I hope you enjoy !!

1 cup popcorn kernels, unpopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
½ cup light corn syrup
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pop popcorn using your preferred method.

(I used my great popcorn maker my Dad gave me for Christmas last year !!)

Place the popped popcorn in a very large bowl (or two large bowls). Make sure there is enough room in your bowls for tossing the popcorn.

Preheat the oven to 250° F. Meanwhile, to make the caramel, melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan set over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, mix in the corn syrup, brown sugar and salt. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently.

Once the mixture reaches a boil, let the mixture continue to boil for 4 more minutes without stirring. Remove the mixture from the heat, stir in the baking soda and vanilla extract. The mixture will bubble up and become frothy. Pour the caramel sauce over the popcorn in the bowl(s) and toss to coat thoroughly. (This is where your loving spouse or 10 year old son comes in handy)

Spread the popcorn evenly onto two large baking sheets lined with parchment paper. (It is okay if there are some clumps of caramel throughout. It will melt and become better spread out while baking.) Bake for 40-50 minutes, removing from the oven to toss/stir every 15 minutes. After 40 minutes, test a cooled piece of popcorn. If it is not completely crispy (i.e. still slightly mushy when you bite it), bake for 10 minutes more.

Remove the baking sheets to a wire rack and allow popcorn to cool completely before breaking apart for serving or packaging
Just look at all that caramel goodness.  It should be outlawed.

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