Friday, December 10, 2010

Mid-December Already, Really??

WHOOOOSH -- anyone else feel like life is passing by much too quickly? Wasn't it just Thanksgiving?

There are finished sewing projects to show, but sadly not photographed yet. Probably due to the very cold weather we've been having -- need the extra light you get from photographing outdoors, but don't really want to be outdoors! Later then.

How about a recipe for a holiday treat instead? Here's an easy to make version of caramel popcorn that's a near relative of the commercially available Poppy***k. Hmmmm, spelling it out that way makes it look like a slightly naughty word, doesn't it? Anyway, here it is:

Baked Caramel Corn

  • 1/2 cup popping corn
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking SODA
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of roasted, non-salted nuts, if desired

Pop the corn, using your favorite method -- I use an air popper, and make it in two separate batches. Leave it plain -- no salt or butter. Place the popped corn in one or two large roasting, or cake pans. If you're adding nuts, just sprinkle them over the popcorn.

Melt the butter over medium heat in a heavy saucepan.

Into the melted butter, stir in the sugar, corn syrup and salt.

Bring the mixture to a full boil and while keeping it well stirred, cook for about 5 minutes. Take it off the heat, and stir in the baking SODA and the vanilla -- mix well.

Pour this mixture over the popped corn, and mix it up really well. Work quickly, as it thickens as it cools.

Place corn in a 250 degree oven and let bake for one hour -- stir it well about every 15 minutes or so. Remove from the oven and let cool.


No recipe, but here's something else I was experimenting with -- homemade marshmallows.

They weren't bad, although I think my marshmallow guru Brendan does them better. He generously shared his recipe, and some tips, so next time they're sure to be fabulous! The thought was to coat homemade marshmallows with caramel and then dip them in some bittersweet chocolate. I got as far as covering the marshmallows with caramel before deciding it wasn't going to work as well as I wanted. Had a bit of marshmallow meltage, but basically it was a sticky (but tasty!) mess. Ah well, and on to the next experiment!