Holiday Baking: Cinnamon Caramel Corn

December 22, 2010

I stumbled on this recipe last year on the Our Best Bites blog and decided to add it to my holiday baking. I’m not sure how the people I sent this to felt about it, but my family loves this stuff. My brother hovered over the first batch I made this year and I had to threaten his life to move him away from it. I made another batch yesterday for him to take to work to “share”. This is really an easy treat to make and so yummy. Makes an easy holiday snack to share at work or at a party.

Cinnamon Caramel Corn

12 C popped popcorn (about 3/4 C kernels)
1 C pecan halves, roughly chopped (I omit, wld use salted peanuts if I added nuts)
1 C brown sugar
3/4 t cinnamon (I use a teaspoon)
1/4 C karo syrup (or honey makes a good substitution)
1 stick real butter (1/2 C)
1t vanilla
1/2 t baking soda

3 squares almond bark (about 4 oz)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees

Pop the popcorn. Let the dogs take care of the stray pieces that go flying out of the bowl and onto the floor when the popping gets a little wild.

Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium microwave safe bowl. Mix well. Chop butter into chunks and place on top of sugar mixture. Pour corn syrup over the top of everything. Microwave on high for 30 seconds and then stir to combine. Return to microwave and heat for 2 minutes. Remove and stir and then microwave for 2 minutes more. (Microwaving for a total of 4 1/2 minutes)

Remove from microwave and add in vanilla and baking soda. Stir to combine. Mixture will foam and rise (so make sure you have a bit of room after you’ve added the ingredients into that medium bowl!0 Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and stir very well so everything is well coated, but don’t think that every single piece has to be totally covered w/the mixture. It doesn’t!

Spread popcorn mixture onto a foil-lined jelly roll pan. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and spread out on a large piece of parchment, waxed paper, or foil. Keep your family from eating it all before you can even finish it.

Melt almond bark according to package instructions. Drizzle over popcorn mixture with a spoon. Don’t worry about spreading evenly or looking pretty. Just drizzle. When almond bark is hardened and popcorn is cool, break into chunks, store in ziploc baggies and enjoy!

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