One of my favorite things to buy at the local Farmer’s Market is fresh kettle corn – yum!
A couple of weeks ago we went to the Farmer’s Market with our friends Larry and Marsha. Fortunately they like kettle corn too. The Humdinger Kettle Corn booth doesn’t just have plain old kettle corn - they have fun flavors like snickerdoodle, honey, maple, as well as cheese and confetti colored popcorn. They even had OSU Beaver (orange and black) and U of O Duck (green and yellow) popcorn in honor of the state schools. No Blue and White BYU popcorn though – wrong state!
After sampling all the different flavors I decided on snickerdoodle and Marsha chose the plain caramel (it was warm and fresh out of the kettle). As we would stick our hand in one bag and then the other we decided that the combination of the two together was too good!
So we dumped both bags into one bag and mixed it together – yum!!
This weekend Marsha and Larry invited us over to play cards with a group of friends so I told her I’d bring a treat. It was the perfect opportunity to experiment with my favorite caramel corn recipe to see if I could recreate that caramel/snickerdoodle popcorn.
I have been making this particular caramel corn recipe for years – I first got it when, as a young mother, I was part of a family home evening group. We would meet together on a monthly basis to create fun lessons, visual aids and treat ideas for our weekly family night- we made copies for each other and shared.
One month my friend Pam shared her family’s caramel corn recipe. The fun thing about this recipe is how easy it is – you don’t need a candy thermometer or have to worry about it hitting a certain temperature. The whole thing is made in the microwave!
Besides being easy the thing I love about this recipe is that it makes a dry, crunchy caramel corn. I know there is a divided camp on caramel corn, some like it gooey and sticky and some like it dry and crunchy. I’m a dry and crunchy girl!
The other great thing about this recipe is the caramel corn is made in a brown paper bag so clean up is easy too. After you cook it for the set amount of time in the microwave you spread it out on wax paper on the counter to dry.
If you want to try my snickerdoodle version you will want to add your cinnamon sugar into the brown bag when you pull it out of the microwave for the last time – be sure and give it a good couple of shakes to get it distributed evenly. Do it quickly as the caramel sets up quickly and the sugar will not stick to the kernels if it is too dry. Then spread the caramel corn out on the counter-top on wax paper to dry.
I decided to make half of the batch (it makes 16 cups) snickerdoodle and to drizzle the other half with white chocolate! What doesn’t taste better with white chocolate.
I actually used some white almond bark I had in my pantry. I melted it in the microwave and then drizzled it over the caramel corn as it set up on the counter. So good!
The popcorn was a HUGE hit at the party and everyone kept asking me where I bought it – not believing that I actually made it! One of our friends even suggested that maybe I should go into business and sell it -don’t think so but thanks for the compliment Dave!
Any ideas for other flavor combinations??
Microwave Caramel Corn
16 cups popped corn (I used my air popper)
1 C brown sugar
1/4 C Karo syrup
1/2 C butter
Cook sugar, syrup and butter in a glass bowl in microwave on high for one minute. Stir and repeat for a total of five minutes. Should be hot and bubble.
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2-1 tsp vanilla
Mix until foamy. Put popped corn into a brown grocery bag. Pour syrup into bag. Stir to coat. Fold bag over. Place in microwave and microwave for one minute and shake. Repeat. Microwave 30 seconds and shake. Repeat. (Sprinkle with cinammon sugar if desired and shake again)
Pour popcorn out to cool on wax paper.