Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Caramel Popcorn with Dark and White Chocolate and Nuts - Oh My!

Hey friends, how are you?  Are you as happy as I am that October is here?  That means beautiful fall weather, colorful leaves, Halloween, The World Series, football, bonfires, sweaters, and all kinds of fall celebrations.  Don't know about you, but I am more than ready for it all!

Do you like popcorn?  I'm really not a big fan, but if you decorate it up enough I will eat it.  I found a recipe on Pinterest that looked SO good, so I gave it a whirl.  It was the consummate Pinterst fail.  If you have never had one, count yourself lucky.  I HATE wasting ingredients.  Even more, I hate taking the time to make something AND wasting ingredients.  Grrrrrrr.

I made the caramel recipe for the popcorn and followed the rest of the instructions.  The caramel never set - it was so gooey that you could not eat it.  I tried putting it in the freezer and it was okay as soon as you took it out, but within 10 minutes it was back to a total goo ball.  It was completely inedible.  I tossed it.  Insert sad face here.

So, I went to my tried and true caramel popcorn recipe from a Gooseberry Patch recipe book that I have had for years and started over.  I added the white chocolate and dark chocolate and nuts called for in the Pinterest recipe.  The original recipe calls for cashews (yum), but the person I was making this for doesn't care for cashews so I added peanuts.  You could add any nut of your choice because they are all good in my book.  Here is what you need:

2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
20 cups popped popcorn

3/4 cup white melting chocolate
3/4 cup dark melting chocolate
nuts of your choice

Pop your corn however you like.  I use an air popper.  Measure 20 cups and set aside in a large bowl.

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a saucepan (I use nonstick) and bring to a boil; boil for 5 minutes stirring constantly so it doesn't scorch.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Pour over popcorn, stirring until thoroughly blended.  Spoon on a baking sheet (I use a roasting pan cause I like the deeper sides when stirring) and bake at 250 degrees for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Remove from oven.  

Melt the white and dark chocolate according to directions.  I used about 3/4 cup of each and melted it in the microwave.  Drizzle over the popcorn while still in the pan.

Sprinkle the nuts over the popcorn.  Let sit until the chocolate hardens.

Now, dive in.  This is so good.  Oh my goodness.  This would be a great treat to eat during a football game, while watching the world series, or for a Halloween party.  You could pass this around a bonfire and it wouldn't last 10 minutes.  Better make a double batch.  Don't even put it in front of kids.  It's gone in nothing flat.

I know this recipe works as I have made it for years.  I make the plain caramel corn at Christmas time and give it as gifts.  Everyone always loves it and asks for more.  It is also gluten free for all of you who have to watch your gluten intake.

Give this recipe a try.  You are going to love it.  Actually, I like just the plain caramel corn.  It's a real sweet treat.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

"Fresh popcorn is near impossible to resist, second only to fresh doughnuts."
Shannon Wiersbitzky, What Flowers Remember