Thursday, December 13, 2012

Crunchy Caramel Corn

        This is a personal favorite of mine. I love caramel corn of all kinds. Soft and chewy or crunchy. I even love the store bought kind like Fiddle Faddle etc. However, there is something satisfying about a good crunchy snack. I happen to think that my crunchy caramel corn is the best. Well, at least it's the best that I've tried. This recipe is one that I dug out of my mothers box of recipes. I have no idea where it came from. I don't know if she or some other member of the family made it up or if someone found it in a cookbook or on the back of a box of brown sugar or something. I do know that my mother made it as least as far back as when I was a little child of three or four years old, possibly earlier. Those are my earliest memories of it at least. At any rate here is the recipe.

  • 16 cups popped popcorn
  • 1 cup peanuts - optional
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 stick butter
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit

        First, divide the popcorn and peanuts into a couple of 13" x 9" baking pans. Make sure to keep out any unpopped kernels  It's not fun chomping down on one of those. Then in a saucepan melt and bring to a boil the butter, sugar, syrup and salt. Stir constantly. As soon as it gets to a boil, stop stirring and let it continue to boil for one minute. Don't let it go too much further than that or you can burn the sugar. Then remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and baking soda. It should bubble up and and get kind of fluffy. Without delay, pour over the popcorn and stir it in to coat all of the popcorn. Then place the pans in the oven on the center rack for 10 minutes. Stir again and bake for another 8 -10 minutes. Again, cooking for too long can burn the sugar. After it is done baking spread out into a single layer on some wax paper and allow to cool. Spreading it out helps you to get the popcorn broken up into small bite sized pieces and lets it cool faster. You should end up with a crisp and crunchy caramel corn.

        I almost always omit the peanuts as a couple members of my family are allergic  I personally love the nuts in it, but I usually don't want to make two batches. I just want to eat some. Even without the nuts it is very good. I've always gotten positive feedback on it. I hope you enjoy it as well.

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