Monday, December 14, 2009

Caramel Puffcorn

If you like caramel corn--and don't mind the addictive quality is has in taking over your brain telling you to have just another handful...until it's gone--you'll really like this version made with kernel-less puffed corn. I like that I don't even have to worry about the thought of cracking a tooth on those little buggers when I pop these caramel puffs in my mouth.

My mother in law sent us home with a bag of puffed corn because she knew that my husband could eat this gluten-free snack, which he would have devoured on our 21-hour roadie back home to Texas from Minnesota if I hadn't seen the caramel corn recipe on the back of the package.

I packed them away in the back of our vehicle so none of the 12 hands looking for snacks would find them and eat'em up before I returned home and had the chance to try this recipe! (Yes, this is probably considered abusive--especially when my entire family is physically restrained for 1200 miles.)

Here's everything you'll need:

Yes, I know it's a HUGE box of baking soda. You'll only need 1+ tsp. for this recipe. You really don't want to know why I have this overabundance of baking soda...and four more boxes just like it at my house. I'll just leave you with two words: mummified chicken. 'Nough said, k? Carrying on...

Here's the recipe for

Caramel Puffcorn

3- 3-1/2 oz. pkgs. puffed corn (found in the snack aisle, butter flavored--not cheese flavored!)
1 cup butter (not margarine)
1-1/4 cups brown sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 250 degrees
Combine butter, brown sugar, and light corn syrup in a 2 qt. sauce pan, cook on medium heat until mixture has melted. Once mixture has melted add the baking soda.

Note: This will cause the mixture to foam slightly.
Note 2: You may need to add an additional 1/2 tsp. soda if 1 tsp. doesn't cause it to foam or get slightly cloudyish.

Pour puffed corn into a large roasting pan. Pour caramel mixture over the puffed corn and stir until mixed.

Place in oven at 250 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring at least every 10-15 minutes.

Remove from oven, pour on wax paper or parchment and break apart/separate puffs. Allow to cool and...

*For a naughtier version: drizzle melted chocolate over the mixture after you
remove it from the oven.

Bring it to your neighbors for a Christmas treat.
Just beware they'll be looking for it again every year.

If you don't continue to deliver, they'll look at you with (as my 7 year old son would say) "angry eyebrows"...and you don't want that, do you? Unless they complain about your yard not looking good enough--then it might be okay to occasionally skip a year of caramel corn for them! :}

For all of you living north in the frozen tundra, you're in Old Dutch country--not Chester Cheetah country. Look for Old Dutch brand corn puffs in your grocer's snack aisle.