Thursday, May 20, 2010

Caramel Corn

Caramel  Corn

I am not generally a fan of caramel corn. It's overly sweet, overly sticky, and generally leaves me wondering why in the heck I thought eating that sounded like a good idea. But I wanted to try some different types of popcorn and not one but two of my friends upheld this recipe as The Best Caramel Corn Ever.


And this wasn't the first time they had mentioned it. I figured I should see what all the fuss was about.

Makes: ~10 cups

1 package plain (unbuttered) microwave popcorn, or about 10 cups fresh popcorn, lightly salted
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted peanuts

PREHEAT the oven to 250F
LINE baking sheet with parchment paper

TOSS with 1/4 tsp of salt

POP popcorn
REMOVE any unpopped kernals
ADD popcorn

WHISK together brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, 1/4 tsp salt, and water in a medium saucepan

Caramel  Corn

BRING to a simmer over medium heat
SIMMER, whisking often, until the mixture reads 250F on a candy thermometer

Caramel  Corn

IMMEDIATELY remove from the heat and whisk in baking soda and vanilla
QUICKLY pour the hot caramel over the popcorn
FOLD caramel into popcorn with rubber spatula
STIR in peanuts
TRANSFER to lined baking sheet

BAKE for 1 hour, stirring with rubber spatula every 20 minutes

BREAK UP popcorn and serve

My Thoughts
1. The caramel is absolutely delicious. The round of baking means that the caramel cooks through and is no longer a sticky gooey mess ready to pull your fillings out. Instead, you can just enjoy the flavor and the crunch.

2. We set our convection, promptly forgot it was on convection and did not adjust the time. I believe it is because of this that our popcorn (under the delicious caramel) seemed almost...papery. Next time, I will try leaving the oven on the regular setting and see what the results are.

3. Also? Use a sturdy whisk. Then you can keep whisking and not have to make do with a spatula because your only silicone coated whisk did this:

Well Then


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