Awards Show Season Snack: Salted Caramel Corn
Awards season is always sort of fun. You get to watch your favorite actors on display for the world: all gussied up to accept their award and be written down in the Hollywood history books or to have their hearts broken by defeat. Does that sound evil and a bit voyeuristic for those of us at home delighting in the process? Perhaps.
Salty and sweet - just the way I like it (my popcorn anyway). This salted caramel corn is gussied up for you, too: Sweet caramel has coated each fluffy piece, hardened and dried into a crunchy treat with a bit of that salty attitude.
Salted Caramel Corn
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup salted peanuts, optional
Pop the popcorn in air popper or over a stove top. Grease a large stainless steel bowl and place the popped popcorn inside. Line a large baking sheet or two with parchment and set aside.
In a medium to large saucepan mix together sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Place a cover on the pan and allow to boil for two minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, the soft ball stage. Stir in the two tablespoons of butter until melted.
Let the sugar continue to cook. When the mixture reaches 300 degrees F immediately stir in the salt and baking soda. The mixture will foam. Pour over popped popcorn and stir with wooden or heat resistant spoons, folding popcorn over and over until covered.
Spread the caramel corn over the baking sheets in a thin layer. Immediately sprinkle candy of choice over the caramel corn, pressing lightly to secure into the mix. Allow to cool completely. Break into chunks and serve.
Makes 12 cups caramel corn.