Sunday, October 27, 2013

Homemade Caramel Corn

Well, I'm sorry.

It's been a long time since I posted a recipe, but life has been in such a whirlwind lately that I've been cooking basics. Nothin' exciting or fun.

Until now, that is.

On Saturday the fam and I went to a rodeo. It was so much fun and my son now is fixated on becoming a bull rider. If you knew him, you'd realize how serious he is. Next year we'll sign him up to do the muttin' busting and he can get a taste for sand. Hopefully that will rid him of his desire to die on the back of a bull. I mean really, what mama gets excited when her son tells her he wants to ride bulls? Not this one.

Moooooving on.

Sorry, I can't help myself.

Knowing that we were going to a rodeo filled with all sorts of junk food, I decided that I wanted to bring some snacks that could rival anything the concession stands could fry our way. I mean come on, who doesn't love a corn dog?

I didn't make corn dogs, but I did make something even better. I give you...homemade caramel corn!

It tastes every bit as good as it looks and it's full of good stuff. You won't find any hydrogenated oils or corn syrups here. No way. Just goodness the way God intended. I will not make you wait any longer, here ya go!

Homemade Caramel Corn

Here's what you'll need:
  • 1/2 cup Molasses*
  • 1/2 cup Honey
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
*If your molasses is really strong, make it 1/4 cup molasses and 3/4 cup honey.

First things first, pop your self some popcorn. Put 1/2 cup of unpopped popcorn in your air popper (if you don't have one use a heavy pot over medium low heat). I really like air popped popcorn because it's lighter than popcorn popped in a pan.

Wow, this is a lot of popping. Let's just say I'm trying to make sure I'm doubling the p's and not the o's. If you know what I'm sayin'.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees and butter two 9 x 13 casserole dishes. Once buttered, split the (popped) popcorn between the two dishes.

Next you want to make the caramel for the popcorn.

In your pan add 1/2 cup molasses, 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 cup butter, and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Once it's boiling, let the carmel mixture boil for 5 minutes without stirring.

Remove from heat (VERY IMPORTANT).

Add 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp baking soda.

Make sure you are stirring carefully when you add these because the carmel is going to want to foam and will rise quite a bit. If this is your first time, you may want to do this in a larger pot so it doesn't spill everywhere.

As soon as these are mixed well pour equal parts over your two dishes of popcorn. Mix quickly and carefully. You want to make sure you coat all the popcorn with the caramel before it starts to cool and you don't want to break all your popcorn to bits. I suggest you fold the caramel into the popcorn like you would fold whipped egg whites into batter.

Bake in your preheated oven for 1 hour. Stir/fold the caramel corn one more time and then pour it out on parchment paper and let cool.

***You could also make popcorn balls with this. Before baking, make the popcorn into the desired size of balls and then bake. So fun!

If you are going to be eating this caramel corn right away you don't have to bake it if you don't want to. It is sooo good and gooey and soft. If you are going to be eating this later then I suggest you bake it and make it wonderfully crispy. It doesn't save well unbaked.

This is some of the best caramel corn you'll ever eat! I'm serious. We ate this in about 10 minutes at the rodeo and I was lamenting that I didn't make more.

Next time, I will be FULLY prepared.

I can't wait for you to try this and it's really so easy to make.

Oh, and I dare you to not lick the pan when your done.

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