Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Never Fail Caramel Corn

It's December 1st and I can't help myself but start the month off with my favorite Christmas treat, caramel corn.  I found this perfect caramel corn recipe here - Amateur Gourmet.  It's crispy and once you start eating it, it's hard to stop.  I going to share this batch of caramel corn because I have 30 more days of wonderful holiday treats.  I love the holidays!



6 quarts of Popped corn (place popped corn in a large roasting pan)

1 cup butter
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 cups brown sugar (use only C & H brand *see important note)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla (I used 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp maple extract)

1/2 tsp baking soda

Heat your oven to 250F.  Melt the butter, stir in the corn syrup,  brown sugar and salt.  Bring the mixture to a boil (medium high heat) stirring constantly. Boil (medium high heat) without stirring for 5 minutes (making sure to use a timer because you don't want to go longer as it will burn).  Remove from the heat, stir in the soda maple and vanilla (Careful! it foams!). Pour over the popped corn and mix well in roasting pan.  (Don't be too concerned about coating all the popcorn as it will coat evenly when you are stirring every ten minutes that it's in the oven.)   Bake for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to evenly coat (making sure to mix all the caramel that forms on the bottom of the pan.   Let it cool and eat! 

*Important note:  Use only C & H Pure Cane Sugar.  Cheap grocery store brand brown sugar just doesn't have the same flavor and quality.  The caramel comes out velvety smooth, whereas the other types of brown sugar produces a grainy texture. 


It's also interesting to note that when you add the baking soda and vanilla the consistency becomes very strange--it almost looks like caramel shaving cream.  I have to admit the first time I made this never fail caramel corn I failed!   The problem I had is that I boiled the caramel on high heat and it burned.  I corrected that to medium high heat and it turns out amazing every time.



I use this 2 qt. bowl to measure out popped corn.
 
Use a large roasting pan to mix and bake caramel corn.  As it bakes you will stir every 10 minutes, this helps to coat all the popped corn into caramel goodness!

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