if i had to choose salty or sweet i am defiantly a salty lover. all dressed and miss vics salt and vinegar are my best friends when im having a bad day or just veggin out on the couch.
but in the last few days (of my monthly cycle haha) I JUST WANT SWEET. chocolate, cookies, pop! i never drink pop, and all i can think of is bubbly gingerale. its sooo not like me to crave sweet but i just need it.
in a moment of sweetness hysteria i got the peppermint mocha at starbucks. ever tried it? Deeeeeeelightful. there was tons of chocolate minty-ness at the bottom of the cup and i was in need of a pre-drinking cup for the streetcar. and this story isn't really going anywhere except that chocolate leftovers plus amaretto made my night. it was cold and windy but my stomach and insides were sooo toasty. toasted really.
side note. at the bar i went to they had these sailboat glasses that my parents used to have/might still own and all night i felt like i was in this weird universe where my childhood collided with being of age to drink. when the bartender handed me my first drink i was so taken back down memory lane that i walked away without actually paying for my drink. wait! this isn't my own house! im sorry mr. bartender, my parents don't make me pay for drinks you see...
alright where were we...SUGAR. sweet ness. i'm thinking of making this recipe...possibly using it to fill mason jars to hand out at christmas. Orangette's recipe for caramel popcorn! yummmm...
Caramel Corn with Salted Peanuts
Adapted from DamGoodSweet, by David Guas and Raquel Pelzel
A few notes to help you along:
- I used Newman’s Own brand microwave popcorn in the “natural” flavor.
- Be sure to have a whisk and a rubber spatula close at hand. You’ll need them both on short notice.
- Before you begin cooking the caramel, measure out the baking soda and the vanilla, and chop the peanuts. You won’t have time to do it later.
- Do not try to make this recipe without a candy thermometer.
- If you plan to give this popcorn as a gift, know that it looks very handsome, and keeps nicely, in a Mason jar.
1 (3½-ounce) package plain (unbuttered natural flavor) microwave popcorn
1 cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup lightly salted peanuts, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 250°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Pop the popcorn according to the package instructions. Coat a large mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray, and transfer the popcorn from the bag to the bowl, taking care to pick out and discard any unpopped kernels.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt, and 2 tablespoons of water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Continue to simmer, whisking often, until the mixture reads 250°F on a candy thermometer, about 3 to 4 minutes. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, and whisk in the baking soda and vanilla. Quickly pour the hot caramel over the popcorn. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the caramel into the popcorn, taking care to distribute it as evenly as you can. Stir in the peanuts, and transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, stirring and turning the popcorn with a spatula every 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and place on a cooling rack for 20 minutes. Gently break up the popcorn, and serve.
Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days (or thereabouts).
Yield: about 10 cups