Monday, December 28, 2015

A New Holiday Classic Pops Up

There has been this Tip Hero video going around Facebook for a caramel and chocolate-drizzled popcorn that looked so easy and so good, that I just had to try and make it myself. Actually, I made it for some friends for a post-holiday get-together and gift exchange, and now I think I might make it every year! It would certainly be perfect for a treat for my work colleagues...or just for ME! Mwa-ha-ha!

Holiday Popcorn
(Source: Tip Hero)

To make the popcorn:
2/3 cup popcorn kernels
1/3 cup vegetable oil (or 6 T)

1. Heat the oil in a large pot with a lid over med heat. Add three or four of the kernels to the pot and put the lid on.
2. When they pop, add the rest of the popcorn kernels and put the lid on again. Immediately remove the pot from the heat for 30 seconds. (This is to ensure the kernels are all about the same temperature so that they will pop almost at the same time).
3. Put the popcorn back on the burner, shaking the pot back and forth. It should take about two minutes for the popcorn to pop without burning or leaving too many spare kernels. When it takes several seconds between pops, it’s ready.
4. Immediately pour into a large bowl and cool to room temperature. This should make about 12 cups of popped popcorn.

To make the caramel corn:
12 cups popped popcorn
2 cups almonds (also good: peanuts, hazelnuts, cashews)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup (6 oz) salted butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup 60% chocolate chips
2 teaspoon vegetable oil

1. Heat the oven to 250F.
2. Once the popcorn is made, combine the following ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat: brown sugar, butter and corn syrup. Stir while the butter and sugar melt together and let the mixture come to a boil, about eight minutes, then let it boil for two minutes.
3. Stir in the baking soda and remove the pan from the burner.
4. Put the popcorn and the nuts in a large bowl and pour the sauce over and mix well. Line two half-sheet pans with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Divide the popcorn mixture between the two trays.
5. Bake 60 minutes, stirring each pan every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven.
6. Put the choc chips and vegetable oil in a bowl or microwave-safe measuring cup and microwave 50% power two to three minutes, stirring every 45 sec or so, until completely melted.
7. Drizzle the chocolate evenly over the caramel corn on both pans. Let the pans sit at room temperature for three to four hours while the caramel corn cools down and the chocolate sets, then break apart into clusters.

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