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26 May 2011 @ 09:23 pm
Poppycock. Fiddle Faddle. Cracker Jack.  
I'm going to share something very special with you today. Really special. Extra special. Mega special.

Come closer.

No, really. Closer.

I'm going to tell you how to make caramel corn.

Oh, caramel corn. Or Fiddle Faddle. Or Poppycock. Or Cracker Jack. Whatever you choose to call it, it is a wondrous thing, and a gastronomic delight to behold.



Make this. It. Is. AWESOME. And I had all the ingredients in the house without having to make a trip to the store.

Ingredients

7 quarts plain popped popcorn
2 cups dry roasted peanuts (optional) No. Use peanuts. Unless you'll die, use the peanuts. It's the right thing to do.
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

First of all, do you know how to pop popcorn the old fashioned way? My mom used to make popcorn this way... before the era of popcorn poppers and the five million pound microwave we had that took up more space than one of my ovens. It's cheap and pretty fast, only an eighth of the cost of today's microwave popcorn, if you're the thrifty sort. Sometimes I am. If it doesn't involve shoes.


The most important thing is that you have a big ass pan. This particular pan pre-dates me to our household. Nolan used to make fried rice in it. He hasn't done that in a while. (Hint hint.) Anyway, I've digressed. Right. Um, big ass pan. Measure three tablespoons of oil in the pan, and then 1/2 cup of popcorn, cook over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally. You can sing a little KC and the Sunshine Band if the spirit moves you. (Shakeshakeshake, shakeshakeshake, shake your booty, shake your booty...)

Also, you might want to put a loose cover on that bad boy, or your dogs may or may not get a mid-afternoon snack. I made two of these batches, FYI.

Then, place the popped popcorn into two shallow, greased baking pans. You can use roasting pans, jelly roll pans, or disposable roasting pans. Add the peanuts to the popped corn during this step. (Just do it. Cowgirl up. Don't be wishy washy.) Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 250 F (120 degrees C). Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, buttah and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring enough to blend. Once the mixture begins to boil, boil for 5 minutes while stirring constantly. Refrain from drinking this mixture.


Remove from the heat, and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will be light and foamy. Immediately pour over the popcorn in the pans, and stir to coat. Don't worry too much at this point about getting all of the corn coated. It will happen. Trust.



Bake for 1 hour. Remove the pans, and give them each a good stir every 15 minutes. The corn gets coated during these stirs. Good times. It's time intensive, but I was watching a movie on my laptop during the whole ordeal. Knight and Day. Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz being Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. There's two hours I'll never get back.


You stir. Like thus. And then stir again. and again.

Line the counter top with waxed paper. Dump the corn out onto the waxed paper and separate the pieces. Allow to cool completely, then store in airtight containers or resealable bags. I gave these as end of the year teacher gifts for Ethan's teachers, since he has a billion of them. I wrapped them in clear cellophane and tied them with a pretty red ribbon. And I think I got the popcorn containers at a party store. Cute gifty thing!


Dive in and enjoy!
 
 
I am:: bed
I feel:: accomplishedaccomplished
I hear:: Rob Roy
 
 
 
slitherhither: ron_sufferslitherhither on May 27th, 2011 05:53 am (UTC)
First of all: you're at the end of school already?!? (We have 4 more weeks around here.) Well, more helpers around the house, eh? *wishes you patience and good humor*

Awesome idea for teacher gifts. My own oldest has been taxing his teachers overly this year, so I should get my butt in gear to demonstrate my thanks. So thanks for the inspiration! I shall definitely try this recipe!

(As a side note: I ALWAYS make popcorn the old school way because I am just That Damned Cheap. Also, do you happen to remember Screaming Yellow Zonkers? [You might be too young.] My sister and I tried to recreate this treat a la maison, boxed up and labeled as "Sister S {insert long Germanic last name}'s Sexy Sweet Surprises", but I'm sure your version would be soo much better... *bats eyelashes*... [if you ever had the original, back in the '70s... Nah, you're too young aren't you?])

ETA: pardon my brute force editing, once again. But it's ScreamING Yellow Zonkers, and I couldn't leave it worng.
Carrie Leigh: advice in bad prosecarrie_leigh on May 27th, 2011 12:17 pm (UTC)
Today is the last day! Hallelujah! No more getting up at the crack of dawn! No more HOMEWOrk! (I honestly don't know who's more excited about that, them or me.)

It's an easy recipe. And tastes every bit as good as the storebought variety. Maybe better.

I don't remember screaming yellow zonkers. *frowns* I don't think you're that much older than I am, though. I'll google it. Do you still have the recipe?

O Demanding One: Spring/Summer: Misty Rain Ursulaheyurs on May 27th, 2011 10:20 pm (UTC)

Poppycock is some of the best stuff in the world to me. I shoulda known you could make your own. :P!

sarea okelani: fried chicken mmmsarea_okelani on May 30th, 2011 07:53 am (UTC)
I just had to tell you that I made this tonight and it was every bit as awesome as you claimed.

Would you mind if I posted about it on my food blog and/or the food_porn comm at some point?
Carrie Leigh: dishescarrie_leigh on May 30th, 2011 01:23 pm (UTC)
You knock yourself out! Share the love!