Sunday, September 13, 2009

Caramel Popcorn

I'd make a terrible superhero. I have far too many weaknesses. One of them is seasonal merchandise. I'm sure I could buy caramels any time of year if I tried but at Halloween they put them in a pretty display at then end of the grocery aisle just to tempt me. As I said, I'm weak and this year they're new and improved. Caramel BBs, for easier melting. Who can resist weaponized candy?

After a few days of pondering I decided to take the easy route and pull a recipe off the Kraft website. They should know what to do with their freaking caramel ammo. Turns out they really don't. Their recipes focus on the 12 oz bag of individually wrapped cubes. The bag of BBs is an ounce short. Oh well. We're making caramel popcorn anyway.

Here's the recipe as presented by Kraft. They don't come close to telling you everything you need to know.

1. Buy an air popper. A year ago I never ate popcorn. Now I have a toddler and it's a regular occurence. Microwave popcorn has made me Orville Redenbocker's rugar mama. No more.
2. Pop a batch of corn. The recipe says 12 cups. That's more than one batch in my popper and more than my biggest bowl will hold. Less corn = more caramel per kernel. I see no problem.
3. Decide that pecans are a much better choice than peanuts and have the added benefit of already being in the house.
4. Melt the sack o' caramels, 1 T water, 3 T butter. Stir often. Decide you should have used less butter.
5. A bit at a time mix the ridiculously hot and sticky caramel into the easily shattered popped corn. Curse often.
6. Fight your demons. You do NOT want to try to eat the corn after it has been in the oven for ten minutes. Really. Sugar which has been in a 300 degree oven is now 300 degrees. Skin from your tounge or fingers will ruin the taste of your corn.

Once done it's a tasty treat. Thank goodness I only buy caramels seasonally.


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