Return to Main Recipes Page/Return to Home Page

Caramel Corn II (D, TNT)
Source: Adapted from Alexis Stewart
Yield: 1 to 1-1/2 quarts

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1-2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Butter-flavored non-stick cooking spray
Butter, for greasing pans
2 cups raw, unblanched almonds, lightly toasted

Popped Corn:
3 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
3/4 cup popcorn kernels

1/2 pound (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 cups light-brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup light corn syrup

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Pour vanilla and almond extract into custard cup. Set aside.

Pour salt and baking soda into custard cup. Set aside.

Spray spatula and large mixing bowl with non-stick butter-flavored spray. Set aside.

Generously butter roasting pan. Set aside.

Spread almonds in shallow baking pan. Place in oven. (Don't bother setting timer.)

Make Popcorn:
Place Dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed sauce pot on stove. Set flame at medium. Add oil; tilt pan to spread over bottom. Add popcorn kernels. Partially cover pot. When popping begins, begin frequently shaking pan. After popping slows down to about 3 seconds between pops, turn off flame and uncover pot.

Transfer popped corn to large, buttered mixing bowl. Add almonds (and decrease oven temperature to 250°F.). Set aside.

Make Syrup:
Put sugar and corn syrup in heavy 3-quart saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring very frequently, until sugar dissolves. Increase flame to medium-high. Cook, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, until mixture comes to a boil. Insert candy thermometer and add butter. Continue cooking, stirring almost constantly with wooden spoon, until thermometer registers 255°F.

Turn off flame under pot and immediately stir in reserved extracts, salt, and baking soda. Working quickly, pour over popcorn and almonds; toss with wooden spoon until popcorn is completely coated.

Pour mixture into greased roasting pan.

Bake, stirring occasionally, for 1-1/4 hours. (It will become crisp as it cools.)

Substitute pecan halves for almonds, omit almond extract, and use 1 tablespoon vanilla.

Poster's Notes:
This was demonstrated by Alexis Stewart on her mother's television show. (She reportedly packaged it for holiday gifts, and Martha Stewart raved about it.

Although I usually pop corn dry, they stressed the importance of popping it in oil for this ... so, I do it that way.

It also said to bake the caramel corn in shallow baking sheets, but I use a roasting pan.

This is how I make mine (including my substitution of pecans, since I always have them on hand in the freezer). The original recipe is on Martha Stewart's site.

Posted by Virginia Sauer (Sir Angus), Z'L

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A