Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Falling for Fall: Caramel Corn

'Tis the season for family, friends and faith.  A little season this modern day Cinderella likes to call "fall".  What?  You've heard of it too?  Well thank the heavens I am not the only one who partakes in the effervescent season of kitchens which smell of baked apples and yards which look like Crayola created a "Fall" box just for the Midwest. 

Last weekend, my sweet niece and nephew hosted their Annual Halloween Bash.  Lane and Marley sure know how to throw a party for the little peeps and the big peeps. Abby and Justin so graciously hosted us, filled our bellies and made for another memorable gathering. 

Abby was generous enough to let me handle the desserts.  I secretly LOVE when she hosts as I always get to bring the goodies.  This year, I went with my never-fail pumpkin-esq dessert extravaganza. 

The great thing about fall gatherings is no one is concerned about how much they eat or what the calorie consumption is.  I think biologically we are all ready to fatten up and prep for the cold (shhhhh....) months ahead.  Not only is it a season centered around family and friends but it is also a season centered around mouth-watering-foodgasm recipes. 

Y'all keep up if you can....

  (are y'all drooling....pretty sure you should be) 

8-9 cups popped popcorn (you can use the bag or the kernels and if it is kettle corn, all the better)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter (yes, it needs to be unsalted)
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1.5 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 package white chocolate chips (I LOVE Hersheys)

  1. Pop that popcorn and remove those kernels!  None of your guests want to chip a tooth. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 250.  Not a bit above and not a bit below.
  3. In a sauce pan, small, melt your butter on low heat.  Don't brown it. 
  4. Add brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cloves, and corn syrup, to your butter.  Increase the heat to medium high and mix.  Let that pan of yummy deliciousness melt together and begin to boil. 
  5. Once it boils, leave it alone for 4 minutes (I know, it is difficult).
  6. Remove from heat, add baking soda and vanilla. 
  7. Listen to the fun sounds the pan makes when you add the vanilla.  Serious y'all, I was in AWE.
  8. Mix, mix, mix.  The delicious caramel mix will begin to look glossy.  Once it thickens, you know it is ready to meet the popcorn.
  9. In a big bowl, mix the popcorn and the caramel from your sauce pan.  Mix, mix and mix until it looks covered.
  10. Spread into a large baking pan (I like to use a turkey-size roaster pan).
  11. Place that bad boy in the oven for 1 hour and make sure you stir AT LEAST every 10-15 minutes. 
  12. Once your timer goes off, remove it from the oven and pour the caramel corn onto parchment paper.  Spread it out and let it sit for a bit.
  13. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the white chocolate chips.  Make sure you melt like this:  20 seconds, mix, 20 seconds, mix, 20 seconds, mix, etc. 
  14. When you know its all melted, pour into a little ziplock baggie and snip off a little corner.
  15. Drizzle over your caramel corn and let sit for at least 1 hour.

  2. Store it in ziplock baggies and enjoy.  Brag. Spread the love.  Share the joy.
All the way from MN