Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Is Coming: Caramel Corn

My one brother-in-law really likes caramel corn. One Christmas, his wife suggested that I just make him a big bag of it for a gift every year since he loved it when I brought it to family gatherings.

I was very happy for the gift suggestion and since it's inexpensive and easy to make, I have been more than happy to give him a bag or container of caramel corn every year since!

Caramel Corn

8-9 quart popcorn- For me, this is 4 air poppers full.*
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light Karo syrup**
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine sugar, butter, salt, Karo syrup and vanilla in saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring frequently and let boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Pour mixture over popped popcorn, stirring to coat.

Pour popcorn into a big baking pan and bake at 250 degrees  for one hour stirring every 15-20 minutes.

* I always sort through the popcorn before adding the syrup, discarding any unpopped kernels or the partially popped kernels that my popper is notorious for. I don't like the idea of anyone, myself included, breaking a tooth on a very hard piece!

**I choose to avoid high fructose corn syrup in our diet whenever possible, however I don't usually make this more often than once a year so it's the one recipe that I will use corn syrup for. A good substitute for Karo syrup is a mixture of white sugar and water ( do a Google search for recipes) as well as honey. I don't know that I've tried the homemade Karo syrup in this recipe. If using honey, watch the baking very carefully as it will scorch very easily.

For gift giving, package caramel corn in a plastic bag, recycled container or Christmas tin. This year I used an empty coconut oil bucket and covered the label with a recycled Christmas card.

Caramel corn-- A tasty gift that's sure to please and doesn't cost very much to make!

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