Monday, January 17, 2011

Caramel can't just have one bite!

The perfect recipe to satisfy a craving of something crunchy, sweet yet salty, and soooo delicious!

Begin with 2 large pans and lots of popped corn!

For best results use a candy thermometer to cook the caramel properly

The caramel mixture has now been brought to 225 degrees F.

The caramel mixture with the addition of vanilla, maple, and baking soda.

Pouring the caramel goodness to coat every kernel of popcorn.

Mix well so that the caramel mixture is evenly distributed to all the popcorn.

Bake it and stir every 15 minutes until golden brown and crunchy!

The perfect batch of caramel corn!

Carmel Corn
Author: Brenna Bowers
Makes: 35 cups (2 large oven pans) (enough for all your friends!)

1 ½ cups white corn kernels (35 cups when it is popped)
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
½ cup dark corn syrup (or maple syrup) *
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp maple flavoring
1 tsp baking soda
Optional 3-4 cups nuts (walnuts, pecans, or almonds: raw is best but pre roasted is fine too)

2 oven pans (the biggest pans you can find with a 3-5" lip to 
    hold all the popcorn inside)

Pop the pop corn kernels (how-to below). Remove all the un-popped kernels and discard them. Spray both of the oven pans with cooking spray. Distribute and add the popped corn (and nuts) evenly into 2 large oven pans.

In a medium sized sauce pan over the stove, combine brown sugar, butter, dark corn syrup, and  salt. Cook slowly (so that the sugar dissolves) and then bring to a boil. Once it starts to boil you do not need to stir, just put in a candy thermometer and wait for soft ball stage (225 degrees F), about 5 minutes.

Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool down a little (about 30 seconds). Add the tsp of vanilla extract and the maple flavoring then stir it in. Then add the tsp of baking soda and stir (it will become white and bubbly again). Immediately pour the caramel  mixture (evenly dividing amongst the 2 oven pans) over the popped corn (and nuts). Stir until the corn is evenly coated. (or try Abby's Tip: try mixing the popped corn and caramel mixture in a large brown paper bag by shaking it until all the corn is coated)

Place the pans into a 250 degrees F oven for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes!
You know the caramel corn is ready when the corn does not stick together when stirred. 

Let the caramel corn cool completely before you bag it or place it in an air tight jar.

*Use light corn syrup if you prefer caramel corn that is not as dark in amber color...will have a different flavor but is just as yummy!

**Freezes well if placed in an air tight container.

How-to pop Popcorn Kernels:

With an air popper : Add 1/2 cup of kernels at a time into the air popper. Plug it in and let the air popper do its job! Continue to repeat this process until all the kernels are popped. 

With a pot over the stove: Place 1 Tbs of vegetable oil in a large pot. Turn on the heat to medium-high. Add 1 cup of the kernels into the pot and place a lid on it. Shake the pot to coat all the kernels with the oil. Leave the pot on the heat until you begin hearing the kernels pop. Pick up the pot and shake it (with the lid on!) and place back on the heat. Continue this process (shaking the kernels to keep them from burning) until there is a 5-7 second delay and therefore no more pops-it is now done. Pour the popped corn into a pan and repeat this process with the next batch of kernels.

1 comment:

  1. Hey made another recipe and did it without the candy thermometer(only because I don't have one). Another victory, good job Brenna. It is so delicious. I made it with almonds and no maple flavor. Sharon Bailey