Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Caramel Corn

Who doesn't love caramel corn at Christmas?  It's especially tasty when it's colored red and green, right?  
This recipe is very easy and fun to make.  You could make it any color you like or no color at all like in my previous post of Caramel Corn.  But I thought I would jazz it up for the holidays.  What a fun neighbor gift this would be!

Follow along as I show you how to make this tasty treat:

Christmas Caramel Corn
*Recipe from Grandma (Betty Hall)
2 Bags Popped Popcorn or 1/2 cup kernels
2 Cubes (1 cup) Margarine
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Cups Packed Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup White Corn Syrup
1 tsp Butter Flavoring (butter extract)
1 tsp Baking Soda
Red and Green food coloring

I like to use my air popper for this to get a fresh, un-buttered popcorn, but if you don't have one try to use low-butter or un-buttered bagged popcorn.
 Pop all of the popcorn and place in a large bowl.
Use your hands to move the popcorn to a new bowl making sure to leave all un-popped kernels in the first bowl.  Discard the un-popped kernels.  Split the remaining popcorn evenly into two bowls and set aside.
 Here are your caramel ingredients.
Make sure you are using butter extract, like the one shown here.  Do not use butter flavoring made for popped popcorn.
 In a medium to large saucepan, combine the margarine, corn syrup, brown sugar and salt.
 Bring to a good boil, stirring frequently.  Boil for 1 minute.
 Remove from heat and add the 1 teaspoon baking soda.
 Add the butter extract.
 Stir well.  The mixture will change color and become foamy from the baking soda.
Pour half of the caramel mixture into a separate bowl and add several drops of green food coloring until you reach the desired green color you want.  Stir well to mix in the color.
 Add several drops of red food coloring to the remaining caramel mixture and stir well to reach the color of red you are wanting.  Work quickly before your sauces thicken too much.
 Pour the green caramel mixture into one of the bowls of popcorn and stir well.  You do not need to use all of the mixture.  Only use enough to coat the popcorn and have some white still showing.  Too much sauce will leave the popcorn chewy rather than crunchy after being baked and will have excess caramel stuck at the bottom of the baking pan.
 Add the red colored caramel mixture to the remaining popcorn (again being sure not to use too much).  Stir well.
 Pour both bowls of popcorn onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.  Spread out evenly.  Bake in a 200 degree oven for 1 hour.
 Remove popcorn from oven and stir with spoon or spatula.  Allow the mixture to cool.  When cool enough to handle you can move the popcorn to a bowl.
 Enjoy your caramel corn!!
 Wrap in individual bags or store in an airtight container.

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