Monday, October 24, 2011

Caramel Corn Weather!


This is an easy treat that is reminiscent of a night at the movies or an afternoon at the Fair.  Only it is cheaper, no admission fee!  It is based on Paula Deen’s recipe called:  Grandma Paul’s Caramel Corn and it is delicious.  You can use either microwave popcorn or pop your own.  Just be careful to screen out or pick out any un-popped kernels.  Use a large turkey roaster pan to pour all of the popped corn into and then pour the caramel mixture over it.  You can keep it simple or add vanilla paste and other goodies to make it fancy.  Your only limitation is your own imagination.  Try making your own mix with M&M’s, mini-pretzels, raisins, salted nuts, etc, added to the finished and cooled caramel corn. You could give this away to co-workers or friends in cute cellophane bags sealed with a metallic twist tie for an afternoon treat.

1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups of packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt (you may not want to add this if you are using micro waved popcorn that is pre-salted)
½ cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 vanilla pod, cut open and seeds scraped out or 2 Tablespoons vanilla paste (optional)

8 quarts of popped corn

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
Over medium heat, combine the first four ingredients in a medium sized saucepan and boil for 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda.  This will foam up, keep stirring for a few minutes, then add the vanilla seeds or paste, stir.  The popcorn should already be popped and in the roasting pan waiting to be anointed with this golden deliciousness.  Pour the hot mixture over 8 quarts (four bags of micro waved popcorn or pop your own) of popped corn.  Stir to coat well.  Bake in large roaster for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Spread on parchment paper or waxed paper to dry.  Add any other ingredients to the mix after it is cooled and dry.  Pack into bags if desired.
Makes 8 quarts or more if you add additional ingredients.  Store in an airtight container.

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