Friday, October 24, 2008

Thinking Ahead for Once...

This past weekend we decided on our next Holiday Cookie Baking Day. It got me thinking about what I wanted to make this year. Of course on my list is my sugar cookies which I wouldn't be allowed in my in-laws house without them. I also have to see what this December's challenge will be for the Daring Bakers. Last year's Yule Log was a great addition to the Christmas dinner table. I will also have to figure out how many people are coming so I don't make more then we can eat.
So here is my first attempt to making something to add to my list of things to make.

Caramel Popcorn
14 cups freshly popped popcorn (made from about 1/2 cup popcorn kernels)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, plus additional for greasing
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Toasted Nuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 250F. Lightly butter a large baking sheet; spread popcorn and nuts (if using) on sheet. Keep warm in oven.

2. Mix butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt in a small saucepan; stir frequently until simmering and sugar dissolves. Clip a candy thermometer to the inside of the pan and continue cooking undisturbed until temperature reaches 248F (firm-ball stage).

3. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. The mixture will roil vigorously; continue stirring until smooth.

4. Drizzle sugar mixture evenly over popcorn mixture; toss well with flat metal spatula or spoon.

5. Bake 45 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheet, then store in a covered container at room temperature up to 3 days.

Review: Oh my goodness...I am in love with this popcorn. Not only was it simple to make but it really came out well. I had to put it away so I didn't eat it all before Mike got home from work. I think it is something I am going to defiantly make for the holidays but I want to see what Mike says about it. I think you can total jazz it up by adding the nuts and even chocolate covered nuts. One thing that was sort of weird about it was it felt greasy but that could have been because it was still on the warm side when I was eating it.

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