Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Double Butter Caramel Corn

Eeek! I've been neglecting my blog so badly lately! These past weeks have been absolutely crazy! All good craziness though...actually GREAT! Despite all the craziness, I have been cooking and baking consistently, so look forward to lots of random entries on recipes I have been whipping up these past few weeks.

To show just how neglectful I've been, here I have my Super Bowl Sunday recipe from last week! Thank goodness for the arts, because I am soooo not sporty! My lack of any sort of sporty talent has left me pretty disinterested in viewing sports as well (unless it involves actually being at the game....with a lap full of tasty snacks!). I've never really watched the Super Bowl, but this year I was invited to a Super Bowl party that caught my interest. No it wasn't football that made me want to go to the party, it was the INSANE food spread that was being prepared. The party was a pot luck, and it just so happens that many of the guests are ridiculously good cooks! So how could I possibly refuse?

I contributed to the pot luck by making Double Butter Caramel Corn. The savory side of the menu was covered, so I wanted to make a really stand-out dessert, something that was tasty and easy to share amongst the guests. Caramel Corn just seemed perfect for the occasion! I was a little nervous about making it because I didn't have a candy thermometer, something that I thought was essential for making successful caramel. Turns out there was no need for a candy thermometer at all! All it takes is a simple little trick to create perfect caramel! The Caramel Corn turned out amazing! It was perfectly crunchy and sweet, with lots of extra caramel sticking to each piece of popcorn, giving it extra crunch! I could have devoured the entire bag by myself, but everyone at the party seemed to love it so much, it was gone in no time! This is definitely a treat I'll be making again!
Note: If using a candy thermometer, skip the ice water test. The thermometer should read 250º when inserted into the boiling caramel mixture.
Note: Be very very careful when making this recipe as hot caramel can lead to super nasty burns! Never lean over the pot of caramel, and try to wear gloves!

1 bag of microwave popcorn (I used buttered popcorn, which is why it's 'Double Butter' Caramel Corn)
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 small cup of ice cold water

1. Pop popcorn in the microwave and throw out any un-popped kernels. Set aside.

2. Pre-measure the rest of your ingredients (the cooking process goes very quickly, so pre-measuring ensures no mistakes).

3. In a large pot, add the brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup. Cook at medium heat, while stirring with a wooden spoon, until the mixture comes to a rapid boil.

4. Drop a very small amount of the mixture (just a drop) into the cup of ice water. Wait 20 seconds and then feel the caramel ball. If the caramel ball is hard, then it is ready. If it is soft to the touch, then let the caramel cook a few minutes longer and test again.

5. Turn off the heat, and while stirring, add the vanilla and baking soda. Add the popcorn and stir till all the popcorn is coated in the caramel mixture.

6. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat mat (this works best) or parchment paper. Using a plastic spatula, spoon the caramel popcorn onto the sheet, spreading it out evenly.

7. Place the sheet in a 250º oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

8. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cooled, break up popcorn with clean hands and wow your friends with this awesome treat!

Thanks Tracy for being such a great Super Bowl party hostess!
Click here to see Martha in Training's amazing recipe for Rustic Vegetarian Black Bean Chili, one of my favourite dishes served that evening!


Justin said...

i guess i didn't know people could make caramel corn at home. yum.

redkathy said...

Great caramel corn recipe!! My mom used to make this, minus the microwave popping.

Jamie, M.I.T. said...

PS that popcorn was gone in literally 2 minutes.

Emma said...

How much baking soda? it just says 1/2 baking soda :s ...

Danielle said...

Oooops! Big oops about the baking soda! Sorry, it's 1/2 tsp baking soda!

kimberly said...

I love to prepare some recipe with potatoes although i know that a person can gain weight if eat potatoes frequently, but i can´t deny that i really like the flavor, most of all when is combine it with some ingredients. Simply delicous. And when i cook, my husband usually is very happy.
Actually i was looking information about how tobuy viagra but i reached this blog, i really enjoyed reading.

Duda! said...

I LOOOOOVE caramel corn so I'll definitely be trying out this recipe! You've got some awesome things on this website. I ought to come on here more often! Here's a quick question: can I use vanilla bean for the caramel or only vanilla extract. Reason being, I have no idea where else to use my vanilla bean since I bought it for my cheesecake!