I am going to go out on a limb and say that you are like me in believing October serves only one purpose: to prepare us for Halloween. That of course means watching loads of scary movies…
…and eating tons of popcorn to go with those movies. But, wait! It’s October, which means our houses are filled with candy bowls overflowing with delicious, sugary treats, so we can’t just serve regular popcorn with our favorite thrillers. No way. We gotta break out the big guns for our scary-movie-thons. It’s time to stock up on the caramel corn, that delicious, addictive combination of crunch and sweet that leaves you with countless cavities, an over-stuffed soar tummy, but oh-so-many scrumptious memories. It’s time to get serious y’all. Halloween is almost here.
First, you will need popcorn.
That can be as easy as throwing a bag in the microwave, or as fun as popping popcorn on the stove. Either way, follow the instructions listed on the popcorn.
For this recipe I suggest popping 2 cups of kearnels. That will yield roughly 6 to 8 quarts of popcorn.
When they say keep the lid on, they mean keep the lid on.
Once you have the popcorn popped, you’re ready to get together all the other ingredients:
6-8 quarts popped popcorn
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups pecans
1 cup walnuts
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Separate the popcorn into two bowls; put a little more popcorn in one of the bowls. In the bowl with less popcorn add the pecans, walnuts, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix to coat.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Melt the butter in a 3qt pot over medium heat.
Add the sugar, corn syrup and salt.
Stir everything constantly until the mixture comes to a boil making sure the caramel is well blended.
Once at a boil, let boil without stirring for 4 minutes. Off the heat, add the vanilla and baking soda.
Pour even amounts of the caramel over the popcorn in both bowls.
Mix the caramel throughout the popcorn, working fast as the caramel will begin to harden.
Spread each mixture onto its own baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake in a preheated oven for 1 hour.
Every 15 minutes, while baking, stir the mixture to ensure all the popcorn is evenly coated.
Let cool completely before breaking apart. I let it sit for 1 hour.
Break the caramel corn apart into popcorn sized bites.
Put the two caramel corns into bowls and dig in!
The classic caramel corn with just popcorn and caramel is so delicious and reminds me of childhood; the caramel corn mixed with nuts and spices is on another level, and manages to add sophistication, and a sense of fall to an already delicious snack.
So go! Put your scary movies in but have no fear, for you have a delicious movie time snack waiting right here for you. Put down the normal, boring, came-from-a-bag popcorn, and treat youself to something special this Halloween Month… I mean October.
Note from the Author: Thank you to everyone who has been following me along on my trip through this whirlwind of a project that is Food Buzz’s Project Food Blog 2010. Thank you for the votes, for spreading the word about my new, little food blog, and thanks for hanging out with me! If you have no idea what Project Food Blog is, then thanks for reading my blog anyways and enjoy the ride!
I also owe a special thanks to Hisham Srour for donating his lovely hands to this post. That’s right, those are not my hands in the shots. I had to outsource the job.