Do you ever find yourself wishing for the perfect salty/sweet snack? If you keep popcorn, brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup around (…and maybe a bag of chocolate chips), there’s no need to rush out to the store for a salted caramel ice cream sundae!Try making homemade caramel corn instead. Even Weight Watchers says popcorn is a reasonable treat, and if you go a little light on the butter and caramel…well, I’d be lying to say it’s good for you, but it might not be as fattening as many store bought snacks!
Homemade Caramel Corn
8 cups popped corn (salted and buttered however you like it; make sure all the unpopped kernels are removed so you don’t break your teeth while you’re eating it later.) Place into two or three pans with lots of room left over for stirring in the sauce.
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup (this is the “secret” ingredient and is necessary for best results)
1/2 cup water
1. Boil until the medium-ball stage (not soft, but not yet really hard if you drop a drop into a tiny cup of cold water).2. Turn off heat and add 2 teaspoons baking soda.
Stir quickly; it will become frothy. Pour it immediately over the popped corn in your pans.
Mix thoroughly with a big spoon.3. If you like peanuts or mixed nuts, add them at this point (8 oz. or less)4. If you want to be really gourmet about it, spread the caramel corn out on a cookie sheet and finish by drizzling 12 oz. melted chocolate chips (takes about 1 minute in the microwave) over the top. Of course, if you do that, your kids will love you, but they might get fat! 🙂
5. Enjoy right away. You can store what ever is left over (if there is any…there might not be, because it’s pretty addictive) in air-tight containers. If I’m making it to take on a trip, I spread it on cookie sheets in a slightly warmed oven (like 150°F) for an hour or so to let it dry until it’s brittle, but I actually prefer it a little softer.)