Monday, February 1, 2010

Crunchy Caramel Corn

Thanks, Marcia, for posting the gooey caramel popcorn recipe. I love that kind of popcorn! The crunchy caramel corn has it's advantages, too: it's easier to pack on trips and less messy. So for those who want the crunchy kind, here is our favorite version.

6 quarts unbuttered, unsalted popped popcorn (about ¾ cup unpopped popcorn kernels)
1 cup peanuts, if desired
1 cup butter
½ cup (5 ½ ounces) light corn syrup
2 cups (15 ounces) firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 200°F. Set two 15x10-inch jellyroll pans or a large roasting pan aside. Place popcorn and peanuts in a very large bowl. In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, combine butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, salt, and cream of tartar. Place over high heat and stir with a wooden spoon until mixture comes to a boil. Stirring occasionally, let boil for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Immediately pour over popcorn and nuts, turning to coat each kernel. Spread mixture in pan(s) and place in oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Store in an airtight container to retain crispness.

Makes 6 quarts.

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