Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Caramel Corn

Yesterday I wanted to make some dessert to leave the gang (I was headed out to dinner with a friend), but we are kind of caked and cookied out. I didn't want to fuss with a pie. I remembered a recipe for Caramel Corn that I saw some time ago and decided to hunt it down and try it.

My favorite caramel corn recipe is this one that uses puff corn, but I didn't have any puff corn in the pantry. Besides, it's probably not very good for Francis.

The recipe I used calls for real popcorn, and I always have that on hand -- the kind you pop yourself. I'm not a fan of microwave popcorn -- too many chemicals involved. I like the old-fashioned kind that requires heat, a little oil and popcorn. I also had all of the other ingredients on-hand -- they are staples kinds of things.

It turned out wonderful -- the kids (and Doug) inhaled it. Not quite as sweet as the store-bought kind, like Fiddle Faddle, but that's o.k. And because of our nut allergies, I didn't add nuts, but I'm sure you could. A handful of peanuts thrown in would be heavenly.

I really liked this recipe because it does not require a candy thermometer, something I never find very reliable. And the recipe actually requires that you leave the syrup alone for five minutes and not do anything. I love a recipe that says "don't do anything." Cool. The clean-up was also a breeze. The roaster was just slightly sticky and the caramel pan came clean with just some hot soapy water.

I found the recipe at and only altered the amount of popcorn. It called for 1 cup and I think that would just be too much -- not enough sweet to go around.

Caramel Corn
(yields a lot!)

3/4 cup unpopped popcorn
2 T. vegetable oil
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
6 T. butter
3 T. light corn syrup
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
In a large pot, heat oil over high heat.
Add the unpopped popcorn.
Moving the pan constantly, pop the corn.

Remove from heat, place in a large baking pan
(I used my roaster and almost filled it).

Discard unpopped kernels.

Keep warm in the preheated oven.
Mix sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt into a large saucepan.
Cook over medium heat, stirring until mixture starts to boil.
Continue cooking for 5 minutes without stirring.
Remove from heat.
Stir in baking soda and vanilla.
Pour over the popped popcorn and stir well to coat the popcorn.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring every 10 minutes.
Remove from pan and put into a large bowl to cool.

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