Saturday, October 17, 2009

My Amish Friend's Caramel Corn

This gem is from that I used for teacher/friend gifts last Christmas. It totally screams out fall and holidays to me. Please DO NOT use microwave popcorn. It's not good for you and it makes the finished product greasy or coat unevenly. If you use fresh popcorn it will turn out amazing.

7 qt Plain popped popcorn
2 c Dry roasted peanuts (optional)
2 c Brown sugar
1/2 c Light corn syrup
1 t Salt
1 c Margarine (I use butter)
1/2 t Baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Place the popped popcorn into two shallow greased baking pans. You may use roasting pans, jelly roll pans, or disposable roasting pans. Add the peanuts to the popped corn if using (obviously we don't with a peanut allergy - want to try almonds next). Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, margarine and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring enough to blend. Once the mixture begins to boil, boil for 5 minutes while stirring constantly.
  3. Remove from the heat, and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will be light and foamy. Immediately pour over the popcorn in the pans, and stir to coat. Don't worry too much at this point about getting all of the corn coated.
  4. Bake for 1 hour, removing the pans, and giving them each a good stir every 15 minutes. Line the counter top with waxed paper. Dump the corn out onto the waxed paper and separate the pieces. Allow to cool completely, then store in airtight containers or resealable bags.
Popcorn $.40 (Meijer - I pop fresh)
Brown Sugar $1.00 (Aldi's)
Corn syrup $.50 (Meijer)
Butter $.90 (Aldi's)

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