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Hmm, guess I haven't posted it here. Rec: Caramel Nut Popcorn (aka Poppycock)

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Joined: Dec 9, 2005

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Posted to Thread #16400 at 12:58 am on Oct 9, 2009

Caramel Nut Popcorn (aka Poppycock)

2 quarts (8 cups) popped popcorn
2 cups peanuts, or cashews, or macadamia nuts, or mixed nuts (cashew/macadamia nut combo is good and I think my favorite)
1-1/3 cups sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
1/2 cup light Karo syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix popped corn and nuts in a large bowl or stockpot. Combine butter, sugar, and Karo syrup in a 1-1/2 quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly (a wooden spoon works well). Continue boiling and stirring occasionally about 12-15 minutes, or until a light caramel color (see notes below). Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Pour over popped corn/nuts and working very quickly mix to coat well. Spread out to cool on an aluminum foil-lined cookie sheet. Break apart and store in an airtight container.

Notes: A popular food gift. Lovely in a cellophane bag tied with colorful ribbon.

Patís notes: A note about the Poppycock..after the first batch I discovered that the caramelly flavor develops further the longer it's cooked. The first batch I only cooked the syrup about 10 minutes, the second batch about 12 or 13 minutes. Donít cook at too high heat and be sure to keep stirring so it doesnít burn...really keep an eye on it towards the end. Sometimes I make my own popcorn using Orville Reddenbocker (see notes below) and sometimes I just microwave a bag of popcorn which is a bit under 8 cups but thatís fine because you get more caramel coverage that way.

Marilyn/FL's notes: Here's what I do and I get minimal kernels...First, I use only Orville Reddenbocker popcorn. We used to buy whatever was cheapest...but trust me, this brand does make a difference in unpopped kernels. I use my biggest pot (dutch oven, pasta pot, stock pot...whatever you want to name it. I call it my big pot), turn the burner on med-high, add 2 tbl of corn or vegetable oil (you can add up to 1/3 C if you're not concerned with fat...but with less oil you have to shake the pot more often to keep it from scorching). Then I put one or two kernels in the pot. Only after they pop do I add the rest of the kernels....at least enough to completely cover the bottom of the pot. Swirl to coat the kernels. Here's the key part for tender kernels....do not keep the lid on tight!! Either keep the lid slightly ajar to let the steam escape or use a wire strainer that fits the diameter of the pot. Leaving the lid ajar works fine, but unfortunately keeps you dodging a mini-firing range of kernel projectiles. The strainer works great for keeping the popcorn where it's meant to be--but gets flecks of oil on the stove. Keep shifting it around. Have a big bowl ready to dump out some popped kernels if you run out of pot room to keep shaking and moving it. I rarely get a single unpopped kernel from this method. I've never measured the amount in quarts, but it makes a HUGE bowl--it's 16" in dia and 6" deep---WAIT! I can do the math here...no, forget it, I can't. I haven't had my coffee yet, so it's difficult to think in one dimension, let alone in volumetric units. And while this explanation seems lengthy-- actually, it took longer to write than to make it. So...in a nutshell: Add oil and a kernel and heat till it pops Add rest of kernels. Leave lid ajar for steam to escape. Keep moving it. Good luck!


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