Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Caramel Corn

Pop some 'old fashioned' popcorn... the kind you do on the stovetop... in a small amount of olive oil. Spray a large casserole dish with spray oil. Transfer the popped corn into the casserole dish- picking out any unpopped kernels.

In a saucepan, melt 1 stick of Smart Balance 50/50 Butter Blend. Add 2 cups of Demerara sugar crystals ("Florida Crystals), and 3/4 cup of Karo Corn syrup. (I used dark today). Stir over medium heat until the mixture comes to a hard boil. Once the hard boil is reached, set a timer for 5 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200*. Measure 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and keep nearby as the mixture boils. When the timer sounds, turn off the burner beneath the saucepan. Quickly stir in the baking soda, and then the vanilla, using either a silicone spatula or a wooden spoon. Stir well, and pour the hot syrup over the popped corn in the casserole dish. Stir together, then place the casserole dish in the oven. Bake 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to distribute the caramel evenly. Pour out onto a large surface covered with wax paper, trying to break up clumps. Allow to cool.

This is a no- salt added, lower saturated fat version of my favorite caramel corn recipe, and it turned out deliciously. I added 1/2 cup of raw slivered almonds to the popped corn before pouring over the syrup.

I am also trying "peanut butter popcorn"... Adding 1/2 package of peanut butter "chips" to popped corn, and putting it into the oven, stirring often, until the PB chips are melted and the corn feels "dry". So far- not so thrilled with the results... but I'm not big on PB anyway.

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