Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chewy Caramel Popcorn

This Sunday night after church, we're going to have friends over to watch the Super Bowl. It's our first time hosting a Super Bowl party, which is really weird since I love football. And I love the Pittsburgh Steelers. Have since I was a kid in the 70's when the Steel Curtain and Terrible Towel were the stuff of legend.

Charles couldn't care less about sports. But he graciously allows me to watch and yell at the TV when my favorite teams are playing. And somehow I managed to get him to invite people over to yell with me. Oh, how I love that man!

We're just going to have finger foods and munchies, with everyone bringing a culinary contribution. Here is one of mine - chewy caramel popcorn. This is incredibly easy and yummy. It only takes about 10 minutes to make the delicious caramel coating - unlike the crunchy caramel corn recipes that require an hour or more in the oven. Who wants to wait that long for caramel popcorn?

What you'll need:
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn
4 TBSP butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/ 2 teas baking soda
1/2 teas salt

The first thing you need to do is pop the 1/2 cup of kernels. I use a hot air popper, but the stovetop method would work, too. For the stovetop method, simply cover the bottom of a large pot with vegetable oil. Pour in the kernels and place a lid on the pot. It will take several minutes for the oil to heat up, but once the kernels start to pop, they'll be done quickly. Shake the pot a few times to make sure all the kernels get in the oil. When the pops start to taper off, remove the pot from the heat. That's it!

Now place the popped corn in a large greased bowl. You'll want to grease it so the caramel coating sticks to the popcorn and not the sides of the bowl!

Now melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in the brown sugar and keep stirring until the sugar melts. The mixture will be thick, but the sugar should lose some of its graininess as you keep stirring.

Stir in the corn syrup and keep stirring until the mixture is smooth. Add the baking soda and salt. Now the mixture is going to bubble up a bit and turn a lighter color. Stir for another two minutes.

Pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn and stir gently until all the popcorn is covered.

Spread the caramel corn onto a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Allow to cool, then transfer to an airtight container.

Happy Munching!

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