Sunday, December 30, 2012

Kid Creations - Caramel Corn


I signed up to bring a popcorn snack for his classroom holiday party.  "How about caramel corn?" I asked.  "Yes!"  My mom used to make us caramel corn and chocolate popcorn (for our Babysitter's Club meetings) and I'm sure I helped, but I haven't made it since I was his age.  He took the lead- first, popping the corn.
Then, eating the popped corn.
Making the caramel:
Adding the baking soda:
Coating the popcorn:
Baking/stirring in 15min intervals:
I asked, "Paul Dean recipe or Classic Caramel Corn Recipe?"  He didn't even take a second to decide:  Paula Dean!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Directions

    Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
    Over medium heat, combine first 4 ingredients and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda. Stir well. Pour over 8 quarts popped corn. Stir to coat well. Bake in large roaster or pan for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on waxed paper to dry.

Paula Dean's recipe gave the popcorn a light coating and baked a little like Cracker Jacks- light and crispy.  I used one cup of dark brown sugar and one cup of light brown sugar because the recipe did not specify which brown sugar and some reviewers liked one over the other.  Then we made the Classic Caramel Corn recipe from All Recipes which called for twice the light corn syrup (1 cup) and the addition of vanilla extract (2 teaspoons).  For the brown sugar, we used 2 cups of light brown sugar and baked this batch at 250F for 45minutes.  This caramel corn was coated heavier than the Paula Dean recipe and yielded a chewier caramel corn.  The vanilla extract was a nice touch.
For the 3rd batch, we combined a little of both recipes and came up with this recipe (our favorite):

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • Directions

    Preheat oven to 225 degrees F.
    Over medium heat, combine first 5 ingredients and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda & vanilla. Stir well. Pour over 8 quarts popped corn. Stir to coat well. Bake in large roaster or pan for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on waxed paper to dry.

 All packaged and ready to deliver to two classrooms.  It was fun letting his classmates know that he made the treat!  It's still pretty easy to impress 4th graders.
We ended up with 9 gallon sized Ziploc bags full of caramel corn.  We made another batch the following day to snack on at home.  It makes it a little easier to walk away from the bag now that I know the butter and sugar ratio in caramel corn...but only after we grab a few handfuls.

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