My friend Lorraine, who also happens to be a Trekkie, a fact which bears no relevance to this blog post, had a bunch of us girls over for a fantastic dinner a while ago and sent us all home with goodie bags. What happened to be in these goodie bags was her and her sister’s homemade caramel corn. Call me crazy but I have never (ever) had caramel corn in my life. Having no idea how much work this took, I asked Captain Kirk if I could pay her to cook me up a batch for Dave’s birthday.
So Lorraine generously obliged and I ended up coming home with the first birthday present that wasn’t returned. Last night we polished off the last few morsels and in some ways I feel relieved, even thankful because I have obsessed steadily for the last week about C. Kirk’s CC. I think about it all day at work and when I come home I think about how I shouldn’t eat all of Dave’s birthday corn, but then I eat some more anyways, trying desperately all the while not to eat all the best bits (but I do anyways) like the candied pecans and macadamia nuts. So I’m just saying, this treat does come with a stern warning – it is equally as dangerous as the Dangerous Rumballs.
So make this at your own peril! I haven’t actually made this yet – the version I received used pecans instead of almonds and macadamia nuts instead of something else. I think you can use whatever nut you fancy. Go ahead and try this fabulous recipe. When we’ve recovered from this lot we’re making our first batch! Let me know how it goes. And now without further ado your key to caramel corn fabulousness.
And thank you Lorraine for sharing this great recipe – which came from the Globe & Mail.
1/3 cup natural popcorn kernels (about 12 cups popped)
1 cup unsalted almonds
1 cup unsalted cashews
1 vanilla pod
1-teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
fleur de sel
Preheat oven to 250 F. Pop 1/3 cup natural popcorn kernels (about 12 cups popped). Set aside in a large bowl and stir in 1 cup unsalted almonds and 1 cup unsalted cashews.
Scrape the beans out of 1 vanilla pod and mix into 1-teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Set aside.
In a large heavy bottomed pot melt 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup corn syrup, 1/2 cup unsalted butter and 1/2 tsp salt. Allow it to come to a boil over med-high heat and leave for 5 minutes without stirring. Pull off the heat and add 1 teaspoon baking soda and the vanilla mixture. (The mixture will be extremely hot so be careful.) Pour over the popcorn and stir quickly to coat everything. Divide onto 2 to 3 parchment line cookie sheets, sprinkle with fleur de sel and put in the oven for 1 hour. Stir occasionally to further coat the popcorn evenly with caramel. Remove, allow to cool and store in an airtight container.