Candy Caramel Corn

Halloween was super lots of fun.  Little Mister went running around and knocking on peoples doors and Little Miss was super shy but loved wearing her costume (she was Rapunzel).  Once we were done trick or treating we came in and the kids got to pick some candy.  If was then off to bed.  We then got to go through and pick some candy.

Well, now all the good candy is gone.  (ok all the Coffee Crisps and Kit Kats) So what was I gonna do?  I couldn’t waste it.  I mean it’s candy and chocolate.  That would be just wrong and the foodie gods would shoot me down.  So I decided to make caramel corn.  The first time I saw this recipe I thought it was gonna be super complicate so I didn’t give it a second look.  But then I went back and realized I just need to make popcorn and caramel then add candy.  I could do that.

Woo Hoo!!

VERDICT

WARNING – HIGHLY ADDICTIVE
You plan on just having one bite then you have another, then another.  Then you start to find reasons to walk by just to get another handful.  You do have to make caramel so you need a candy thermometer.  Make sure you test yours to make sure it reads correctly.  My caramel almost burnt before reaching 300 F and I’m pretty sure it was my thermometers fault.  I saved it though.  I’m sure yours will be fine ;)  It’s time consuming but it’s a lot of waiting not a lot of work.  The first time you learn what you’re doing, the second you become a master.  This would be so perfect as a hostess or secret santa gift.  Cheap and easy – just the way I like things.

Candy Caramel Corn – slightly adapted from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

16 c popped popcorn – I pulled out my 1980′s popcorn popper and it still worked – I’m sure you could use popped microwave popcorn too
1 c butter
1 c granulated sugar
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 bag kraft caramels cut into quarters
really about 4 cups of random left over candy – i used licorice (Nibs), Areo (chocolate), and Smarties.  Chocolate is good here.

Preheat oven to 250 F.  Spray 2 cookie sheets with non-stick spray.  Place popcorn on to the baking sheet and set aside.

In a medium/large pot put in your sugars, corn syrup, salt and butter.  Over medium-high heat stir until butter and sugars melt together.  It’s gonna take a while.  Stop stirring.

Increase the heat to high and bring the caramel to a boil until the mixture reaches 300 F. (hard crack stage).  Once this happens remove pot from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla.  It’s gonna bubble.  Stir until it calms down.

Dividing the caramel between the 2 pans pour all over the popcorn.  You need to work quickly.  Stir until as combined as you can get it.  It’s not going to be completely combined.  It’s ok cause now we are gonna put it in the oven.  Put it in the oven for 20 minutes.  Take it out and stir it, flip it mix it up.  Put it back in the oven for another 20.  Take it out stir it, flip it and then add your candy.  Yes, all of your candy!

Place your candy on top of the caramel/popcorn making sure it’s got something to stick to.  Put back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

Let it cool completely then break big chunks apart and store in an airtight container for up to a week.  Ya it won’t last that long don’t worry.

Enjoy!

You might as well get a big bowl