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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Caramel Corn

Today we're headed to the pumpkin patch to pick some pumpkins with a group from our church. I'm pretty sure I haven't picked or carved a pumpkin since middle school, so this should be interesting! My sister Julia is the super artistic kid in our family, so she always showed me up when it came to carving pumpkins or dyeing easter eggs or making birthday cards...but now I only have Ryan to compete with and I'm thinking it's a more level-playing field ;) Maybe I'll post some pictures of our pumpkins, if they aren't too pathetic!

Anyways, the point is that after we pick pumpkins, we're headed to someone's house for the carving and we've been asked to bring a snack. Last week when I went apple-picking, I had some delicious kettle corn at the orchard and it got me in the mood to make some. So, I made a double batch of kettle corn (I've made this before, found here) and decided to also make some caramel corn.

YUM! I wish I had doubled the recipe, because I have a feeling this will go fast. It tastes so much better than store-bought caramel corn and next time I want to add some cocktail peanuts to get the cracker jack thing going. This would also be good with some drizzled chocolate...or maybe some dried cranberries? I need to go look at those gourmet popcorn mixes at Target and imitate accordingly! :)

Caramel Corn
adapted from allrecipes.com (I modified the recipe based on the comments/reviews)

-1/4 cup vegetable oil
-1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
-1 cup packed brown sugar
-1/2 cup butter
-1/4 cup light corn syrup
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1. Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a large stockpot over high heat. Add popcorn kernels and cover.
2. When popcorn has popped (the popping will have slowed, much like in a microwave), remove from heat and pour into a large bowl.
3. Preheat oven to 275.
4. Heat sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt until boiling. Boil for 5 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda.
6. Pour mixtures over the popcorn, stirring well to coat each piece.
7. Place popcorn on cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes.
8. Remove from oven and allow to cool. (note: this cools quickly! some of mine became quite hardened to the cookie sheet so beware!) Store in an air-tight container.