Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gooey Caramel Corn

Howdy!  The recipe I made last night completely *bombed* so I'm giving you one of my most treasured recipes instead.  I luv luv luvvvvv this stuff, and now that Fall is upon us, I've been craving it just about every single day.  What makes it different than your regular ol' caramel corn is that this one makes ooey gooey strings and doesn't harden upon cooling.  It's just as tastey when it's completely cooled, but it's amazing when still just a little warm. 

Also, I'm making popcorn on the stovetop.  This is a new thing for me, because I've always used a trusty air popper, circa 1987.  But friends convinced me to try out the stovetop method for popcorn, and I kinda really love it.  It's way less scary than it seems, and actually faster than having to rummage through closets to find my air popper, dust it off, heat it up, and then pop the corn.  So, I urge you to try out the stovetop, if you haven't already. 

And I just have one more request - when you make this, invite me over.  Pleeeeease.  I'll even do cleanup! :)


Gooey Caramel Corn
1/3 c. popcorn kernels*
approx. 2 Tbsp. oil (peanut is best, canola is fine)
1/2 c. unsalted butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
12 large marshmallows

The Popcorn:  Heat the oil in a tall pot (a heavy bottom helps), over medium high for about a minute. Pour the popcorn kernels in and cover with a lid. Lift the pot off the burner, and give it a good swirl to coat the kernels with oil. Place back on burner, and tilt the lid just enough to allow steam to vent. Kernels should begin to pop after about a minute. Swirl the pot once more and then allow the kernels to finish popping. Process should take about 3 minutes. Remove from heat when approx. 2 seconds elapse between pops. Pour into a large heat-safe bowl and set aside.

The Goo:  Melt the butter in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Stir in the brown sugar until dissolved. Add in the marshmallows and stir (a silicone spatula scraper works best) until melted and smooth. Be careful to not let the mixture come to a boil. Working quickly, pour the hot caramel mixture over the popcorn and fold it in until all the popcorn is coated. I'd tell you to let it cool before eating, but I'd be a total hypocrite. I'd also tell you that leaving it out on the counter overnight in an uncovered bowl won't taste any good the next morning, but I'd be a total liar.

* Note: If you can't find popcorn kernels in your regular grocery store, check one that has a large bulk section.

The ingredient lineup:

There's oil in there. You totally can't see anything, I know.
You basically just need enough oil to lightly coat the kernels.
I threw in 2 tablespoons of oil for our 1/3 cup popcorn, and it was fine.
I could've even used a smidge less.

Tilt the lid just a smidge so that steam can vent.
But be careful when it starts popping, because hot oil splatters are Danger.

Popped Corn! 

The marshmallows will puff up some while they heat. Just stir occasionally and they'll melt down. I suppose you could opt do the caramel sauce in the microwave, the same way you might for Rice Krispy Treats. But with all the opening the microwave, taking out the bowl, stirring, putting it back in the microwave, and shutting the door, it just seems so much easier to put it on the stove with a heat-safe spatula.

 All melted. Avoid the boiling bubbles.
If you get the mixture too hot, the finished caramel corn
will be more crunchy and less chewy.
And we demand chewy gooey yummmmmmy.

Action Shot!
I'll have you know that because my free intern (read: Bo) was gone,
I was trying to pour molten hot caramel sauce with my left hand while photo-ing with my right.
Such dedication ;)

I'm pretty sure this would make a fantastic breakfast.  Just me?

Mmmmm. Remember those gooey strings I mentioned earlier? Behold!

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  1. I'd like to go on the record and warn everyone against this recipe. Not only is it extremely delicious and addictive, but it will cause conflict among you and your loved ones as you all jockey for position around the bowl of caramel popcorn goodness. And even though it looks like it should last for a few days, it never lasts more than an hour or two. So freakin' good, but gone so soon.

  2. @John, you seriously Crack Me UP! HAhahahaaaa, but I totally agree. I am capable of eating an entire batch by myself. I should be ashamed of that fact, I really should.

  3. About how much mini marshmallows ... :) I don't have the large ones :D

    1. Brandy - I just weighed 12 large marshmallows with my kitchen scale, and it's 3.1 oz (87g). So if your bag of minis is 10 oz, that's about 1/3 the bag. I don't have any minis to weigh and count out for the exact number, but it's not crucial to be exact. I like to throw in a couple extra for extra goo anyway.


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