Oct 30, 2012

Homemade Caramel Corn & Halloween Memories

 My mom used to make this homemade caramel corn for my sister and I when we were young trick-or-treaters dressed up in our clown noses and princess crowns. It brings back exciting memories of Halloween night, dumping out that orange pumpkin bucket on our living room floor after a evening spent screaming "TRICK-OR-TREAT" at the top of my lungs to every house in our neighborhood. My sister and I would fight and bicker with each other about that one Reese Cup I swore fell out of MY bucket, not hers...until mom walked in with a bowl of caramel corn, flipped on It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and snuggled up with us on the couch until we slowly drifted into sugar comas. Funny how a simple bowl of popcorn can trigger such vivid holiday memories. This year, I decided to share my mom's special recipe with my friends at the Halloween party we attended last weekend. It was a total hit! Our friends couldn't believe it was homemade and that it was fairly easy to do. This is absolutely the perfect spooky movie watching treat for All Hallows' Eve. Give it a go, guys and ghouls! :)


Ingredients:
10-12 cups fresh air popped popcorn (*directions for quick popping popcorn in the microwave in brown paper bag are below)
1 cup light brown sugar
1 stick of salted light butter, cut into cubes for easier melting
1/4 cup Karo syrup (light not dark)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Directions:
1) Place popped popcorn in a bowl larger than the volume of popcorn in the bowl. You will need the extra space for stirring, believe me. Also, try to get out all the un-popped popcorn kernels out of the bowl. You don't want anyone chipping a tooth! Set aside and start working on the caramel mixture.
2) Put the brown sugar, Karo syrup, and butter into a microwave safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 30-45 seconds, then remove from microwave and stir until all ingredients and well blended. Place back into the microwave and heat on high for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir again. Then microwave mixture on high again for another 2 minutes (tedious, I know). 
3) Remove caramel from microwave, add in the vanilla and baking soda, and stir together. The mixture will start to froth and bubble, expanding in size just a bit. Very neat. 
4) Pour your caramel mixture (very hot, no taste testing yet!) on to the popcorn in the bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until the popcorn is evenly coated with caramel.
5) Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spread out the popcorn evenly on the baking sheet. Place in the oven for 1 hour at 225°F, stirring every 15 minutes. This will help the popcorn become crunchy and less gooey.
6) ENJOY!

*Microwave brown bag popcorn popping: Place 1/4 cup popcorn kernels in a small brown paper bag and fold down the bag so it won't burst open. Place in the microwave for 1 minute or until popcorn popping slows to 1 kernel per 2 seconds. No oil or butter needed!

7 comments:

  1. I am a sucker for caramel corn!!!!!!!!!!!

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  2. Oh I love caramel corn - especially the homemade kind!

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  3. Oh that sounds amazing! I've never made homemade caramel corn before...but now you've got my mouth watering :-). Funny how food and smells are so very closely tied to memories, isn't it? Thank you for sharing yours with us today Casey :-)~

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  4. That popcorn looks yummy! I'm a new follower from the GFC Hop!

    I'd love for you to check out This Crazy Blessed Life!

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  5. This looks fantastic!
    Thank you for linking up to Wonderful Food Wednesday.

    Kerrie
    http://familyfoodtravel.blogspot.ca

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  6. That sounds so yummy and so easy to make. We have Popcorn as a treat in our house cause its so good and healthy! Will have to give this recipe a go as a treat :)

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