December 18, 2012

Recipe: Christmas Caramel Corn

I can't really cook. Which is why I'm excited to announce my first contributed post from my friend Kasey, who is also a really great ice cream maker (seriously, I don't even like ice cream) and food maker. And photographer—she took this photo. She brought this mouth-orgasming caramel corn into work last week and I told her she needed to make it for my blog.

  • 10 cups of lightly salted, unbuttered popcorn (or 1 microwaveable bag)
  • 1 cup of packed light brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1 tablespoon of corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • A candy thermometer
  • Optional: 1 cup of lightly salted nuts of your choice—I'm not a nut advocate so I don't recommend it.

  1. Preheat the oven to 250°F. Then, grab your baking tray and line it with parchment paper. You'll also want your 10 cups of popcorn ready in a large bowl while you prepare everything.
  2. Mix the butter, salt, water, corn syrup, and brown sugar in a pot on medium/high heat and stir occasionally until it reaches a simmer. Once it begins to simmer, stir it consistently until it reaches 250°F (this is where your candy thermometer comes in). Fun fact: this is how caramel is made. I actually thought caramel came from a plant. But it doesn't.
  3. Once the thermometer reaches 250°F, you'll want to turn off the stove right away. Have your baking soda and vanilla extract ready to go and add them in, stirring the mixture until it's a lighter shade of brown.
  4. Once the caramel is ready, add it to the large bowl of popcorn. Distribute it evenly and make sure all the popcorn kernels are covered. You'll also want to be careful that you don't break any of the kernels. If you want to add nuts, this is the time to mix them in.
  5. Next, spread the gooey popcorn evenly on the parchment paper and tray using a rubber spatula. Once this is done,  place the popcorn in the oven for 1 hour, removing it every 20 minutes (a total of 3 times) to re-spread the mixture.
  6. After an hour, you'll have delicious caramel corn. Let it cool for about 20 minutes and then carefully break it apart. The best part: it will be good for 5-7 days in Tupperware. Not that it will last that long once you start eating it. 
Adapted from DamGoodSweet, by David Guas and Raquel Pelzel.

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