Saturday, September 5, 2009

The taste of autumn...

September is here. The windows are open (we've got an unusual early fall in Kansas). So I couldn't wait to make the season's first batch of caramel corn.

I got this recipe years ago from Alice, who got it from one of the pressmen at The Salina Journal. It's sticky and gooey and awesome and perfect. Here you go:


2 sticks butter or margarine
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
air-popped popcorn (8-10 cups?)
peanuts (I use unsalted or honey-roasted, Alice swears by Spanish peanuts)

Important note: After you pop all the corn, sift through it well to remove all the unpopped kernels. Otherwise, someone could break a tooth. Seriously. I pop it all into one side of our turkey roasting pan, then transfer it by handfuls to the other side (lid), and throw away the tooth-breaker seeds.

Combine first five ingredients in a large-ish pot or saucepan (this bubbles and boils quite a bit). Heat over medium to medium-high heat until boiling. Boil, stirring constantly, for five minutes. Remove from heat and add baking soda. Stir. Syrup will kind of whooosh and turn a nice caramel color. Pour over popcorn and peanuts in a large roasting pan. Stir until everything is coated well. Bake at 250 degrees for one hour, stirring well every 10 minutes. Cool on wax paper, then transfer to airtight container (if you don't eat it all off the counter).