Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What We Ate {Caramel Corn}

A few weeks ago, out of the blue, Mr. M. decided that he simply HAD to make caramel corn. What?!  Kinda weird, right?  His mom had a recipe for it while he was growing up and, once he got the recipe from her, I came home one random weeknight to find him whipping up a batch in the kitchen.

Now caramel corn is not really my thing, and not something that I would ever decide to make myself.  But this stuff was pretty awesome.  I could have eaten all of it, so I was happy when he took the container to work the next day to share with his co-workers.   Out of sight, out of mind, right? 

Wrong.  A few days later, he must have wished that he hadn't given it all away, because he asked if I would give it a go and make some to take to a Game Night that we were invited to that night.  I needed to make something to take anyway, and the recipe didn't look very hard.  After a few pointers from him, I was willing to give it a shot.  So I took some pics while I worked so that I could share the goodness with all of you. Once again, it was a good thing we took it somewhere for other people to eat.  Because the stuff is addictive!

I'm not sure what occasion in your life is ever going to call for you to make Caramel Corn.  But if and when that day comes, now you'll be prepared :)

Caramel Corn
5 quarts popped popcorn
1 cup butter or magarine
2 cups light brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Pop corn in an air popper and pop 5 quarts.

I adore plain air popped popcorn, I could have eaten the whole bowl!

  Place popped corn in oven at 250 degrees to keep warm.

Meanwhile, combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt in a 2 quart saucepan. 
Cook until sugar dissolves.  Bring to a boil and cook (stirring frequently) until what is called 'firm ball stage', when a candy thermometer reads 248 degrees F.  Stir baking soda in to mixture.
Now we don't own a candy thermometer, so don't worry if you don't have one either. In order to know when the caramel is at the proper temperature without a candy thermometer, keep a bowl of cold water next to the stove.  Once the caramel reaches a rolling boil, it will thicken.  When that happens, put a few drops of the caramel into the bowl of cold water.  If you can reach into the water and form that caramel into a little ball with your fingers (almost like wax), then you're good to go.  If the caramel remains liquid in the bowl of water, keep cooking. This part intimidated me, but it was super easy.

Caramel begins to get thicker and bubbly when it is ready. 

Pour caramel over popped corn and mix.  Return popcorn to oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.  Cool and place in airtight container before caramel hardens completely. 

   Make sure you take it somewhere to share!!

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