Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Caramel corn

Although caramel popcorn is good all year long, it’s around Halloween when recipes start popping up for the delicious snack.

I've made it a few times, but I had never seen a microwave version of the recipe that incorporates a paper bag! Yep, a paper bag.

What makes the paper bag so wonderful is that you throw away the ooey, gooey mess that's left behind when the caramel popcorn is ready to eat.

I air-popped my own popcorn, but you can also use bagged microwave popcorn if you prefer. Make sure you pull out any unpopped kernels before mixing in the caramel.

The caramel sauce mixes up quickly and cooks in the microwave in under five minutes for a quick and easy treat.

The original recipe suggests transferring the cooked popcorn into a large brown bag, then pouring the caramel sauce over the popcorn. After reading reviews of the recipe, I decided to mix mine in a bowl before transferring to two small bags (I didn't have a large paper bag.) My way worked fine; I'm sure the other way would, too.

If you have a Halloween party or fall carnival coming up, I encourage you to try this treat. And don't hesitate to mix in some other goodies, including peanuts and chocolate chips.

Microwave Caramel Popcorn
  • 4 quarts popped popcorn
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 lunch-size paper bags
Place the popped corn in a large bowl.
In another large, microwave safe bowl, mix brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, salt and vanilla. Cook for 3 minutes in microwave; remove and stir. Return to microwave for another 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir in baking soda; this step is not optional.
Pour syrup over popcorn and stir to combine.
Place half of popcorn in a paper bag. Fold down top. Microwave for 1 minute; take out of microwave and shake. Return to microwave and cook for another 30 to 45 seconds. Be careful not to let the popcorn burn during this last cooking time.
Pour popcorn on cookie sheet lined with waxed paper or buttered. Let cool.
Repeat with remaining popcorn.

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

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