Thursday, March 4, 2010

Day 62 (3/4): First Food Post

OK I've been addicted to the Pioneer Woman since Christmas and started reading other food blogs.  Thought I would try one of my own so feel free to comment on how to make it better in case I decide to do another one. 

This is the best home-made caramel popcorn recipe I've ever tried.  It almost matches the popcorn found at Vic's in Wichita, KS which has the best cinnamon and chocolate caramel covered popcorn on the face of this earth.

The cast of characters:
I'm still trying to decide if I like the picture of the cast of characters similar to how Rachel Ray would do it - toss it all in a pan or bowl or the line up.  What do you think?

Start off by popping about 7-1/2 quarts unsalted popcorn.  I had tried popping in a pan on the stove with a bit of oil in the bottom but always seem to get it a little too done. So I bought one of those microwaveable air poppers and it cooks it perfectly every time.  And those are not spots on the inside of my microwave...that's lint on the camera lens...or at least that's what I'm telling myself.

You will combine the butter, sugar, syrup and salt in a pan and bring to a boil.  Imagine that you see a picture of the ingredients before they were melted.  I got so into making the recipe that I forgot to take a picture of this step. 

Boil this for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and add 1 teaspoon baking soda.  Mix well.

Pour over the popped corn.

Bake for 1 hour at 225 degrees. Stir every 15 minutes while in the oven.  I found it helps if you sample at each stirring.  Well it helps keep your pants up at least.

Layout the coated popcorn on flat trays to cool and store in an airtight container.  I personally don't layout the popcorn because I like to have the chunks when I eat it.  It's easier for me to grab and go if it's all in a big chunk.
And you can lick the pot after it cools down a bit.  But wait 'til it cools or you burn your finger.  Lesson learned on my part!

Recipe:  Oven Bake Popcorn
7-1/2 quart unsalted popped corn
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup white corn syrup
1 cup butter or margarine (I used butter for richer flavor)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Boil sugar, syrup, butter and salt for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add baking soda. Stir immediately over popped corn. Mix well.  Put into a large pan without a lid and bake for 1 hour at 225 degrees.  Stir every 15 minutes while in the oven.  Layout coated popped corn on flat trays to cool. Stir in an airtight container.

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