Caramel Corn

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caramel-corn
Happy Halloween!

If you have a house full of kids tonight, I can think of nothing better than cramming them full of sugar.

This recipe is a tradition in our house. I usually spread it out when hot, but it makes fine popcorn balls too. Any nut will do, or leave them out completely and add a bit more corn. It’s also fun to add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a sweet and spicy treat.

Also, you can forget the kids … it tastes great with beer!

Air popping makes a better products, as the candy sticks better to corn that is not greased up. But in a pinch, the old microwave will work too. Keep it warm once popped so that it doesn’t cause crystallization when added to the caramel.

INGREDIENTS

1-1/2 cup nuts
2 cups air-popped corn, kept warm
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/3 cup water
3 TB. unsalted butter
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. vanilla

METHOD

Spread out a large sheet of parchment or waxed paper, and coat evenly with pan spray. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, and water, and bring to a boil over high heat. At the boil add the butter, cook to hard crack stage (285˚F), and remove from heat. Quickly stir in salt, baking soda, vanilla, and stir until the mixture is foamy. Immediately add corn and nuts and stir quick to coat. Pour out onto prepared paper and spread as thin as possible. Work fast! The candy cools quickly! Cool, then break into chunks. Store air-tight in the freezer. Makes about 8 cups.
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