A Recipe for Crunchy Caramel Corn
Crunchy Caramel Corn-the Secret
There is, of course, a well kept secret to making crispy and crunchy caramel corn.
After you have mixed the caramel syrup over the popped popcorn you must slowly bake it in a slow oven. This dries the popcorn out and allows it to achieve the light and crispy texture that we all love.
Caramel corn keeps well if sealed in an airtight container. Make it ahead of time and keep it in a food grade sealed plastic bin for quick snacks in front of your favorite movie!
Crisp Caramel Corn
This is the recipe we use at my house. It has the approval of 8 kids, two grandkids, a son in law and a husband, not to mention numerous friends. Watch the sugar syrup carefully so that it doesn't scorch or burn. Once it begins to boil don't let your eyes move from the candy thermometer.
5 qts popped corn
1 c unsalted butter
2 c packed brown sugar (dark or light, your preference)
1/2 c light corn syrup
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
Spread popcorn on a cookie sheet and keep warm in a 250 degree oven.
Combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt in a large saucepan. Place over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. You can feel for graininess to be sure but don't burn yourself. Continue to boil until the candy thermometer reaches 248F, about 5 minutes.
Remove form heat and stir in baking soda. Syrup will foam up. Pour hot syrup over popped corn and stir to mix well. Stir very quickly to coat all the popcorn as completely as possible. The caramel syrup can create a bad burn so keep it off of your skin.
Return the coated popcorn to the oven and heat for 1 hour, stirring every fifteen minutes. Cool completely before eating or storing.Makes 5 qts/2 lbs of caramel corn.
Make Caramel Corn
Holiday Popcorn Crunch
2/3 c sugar
1/2 c unsalted butter
1/4 c light corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
2/3 c pecans
1/3 c almonds
4 c popped corn
Keep popcorn and nuts on a cookie sheet in a 300 degree oven while preparing caramel.
Combine sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Cook, stirring once in a while until mixture reaches the soft crack stage, (290F).
Remove from heat. Stir in Vanilla.
Remove popcorn mixture from oven and pour caramel mixture over it, being careful not to get any on yourself. Stir carefully to completely coat popcorn and nuts with caramel syrup. Bake in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so. Cool. Store airtight. Makes about 5 cups.
Gourmet popcorn is all over at Christmas time and other holidays. You can easily make your own by flavoring your own, homemade popcorn. It is delicious, easy, and inexpensive, making it a perfect gift.
Beside the caramel flavor you can do a taco flavor by using taco seasoning and tossing it with buttered popcorn, then baking it at 250, just like the caramel. You can substitute any flavor for the taco: BBQ, Dried Alfredo Sauce, Dried Sour Cream and Chive as well as many more. Check out the area of your grocers where they keep the seasonings for more ideas. You can even make fruit flavors by using sweetened Kool-aide!
Just keep it in a cool place in an airtight container and it will keep a long time...if the rest of the family doesn't find it!