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Archive for March 10th, 2013

In Maryland, fans of caramel popcorn often travel to Ocean City to buy Fisher’s Popcorn. Though a little time-consuming to prepare, readers will find this easy recipe a tasty replacement for that summertime boardwalk popcorn. Like last week’s Too Easy Banana Bread, Baked Caramel Popcorn works well for a book club or readers’ group get-together, kids’ party, or any other fun gathering.

Baked Caramel Popcorn

Preheat oven to 250°F.

Spray 2 large, shallow baking pans with vegetable cooking spray (like Pam).

Step #1: Make 6 quarts of popcorn. Once made, pour popcorn into baking pans and keep warm in oven.

*I make the old-fashion version: Using measurements from the popcorn bag – Heat oil in a large covered pot until one kernel “sizzles” when dropped in. Then, dump in popcorn kernels & place lid tightly on pot. With hot-mitts on hands, shake the popcorn-filled pot until most kernels are popped. OR If you’re lucky enough to have a popcorn pot, just use the stirring paddle until popcorn is popped.

*Microwave popcorn can be used. Just make sure it is “plain,” not butter-flavored.

Step #2: Make caramel coating:

Caramel Ingredients:

1 cup margarine (or butter)

2 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup corn syrup

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

1-Melt margarine in large pot. Then, stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt.

2-Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring for 5 minutes. (Keep an eye on your pot so it doesn’t boil over. Adjust temperature if caramel nears the top of the pot.)

3-Remove pot from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla.

Step#3 Make caramel popcorn:

1-Remove popcorn from oven. Pour caramel coating evenly over popcorn, making sure both pans receive approximately equal amounts. Mix well. Return caramel-coated popcorn to oven.

2-Bake in a 250º F oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

3-Remove from oven, cool, break apart, then store in an air-tight container.

Notes:

1-It’s better to make a little extra popcorn in the beginning to make sure you have 6 quarts (that’s 24 cups) for the recipe. You can always snack on any extra.

2-If your caramel pot is large enough, you can dump the popcorn into the pot and stir the coating over the popcorn, then dump it in the pans for oven baking. Some people find this easier.

3-In order to make sure I stir every 15 minutes for 1 hour, I set the timer for 15 minutes. When it goes off, I stir the popcorn, make a hash mark on a piece of paper, put the pans back in the oven, then reset the timer. That way, it’s easy to know when your popcorn is done!

Appearing Monday on Whimsical Words: a guest post from Beth Barany, author of the YA adventure fantasy, Henrietta the Dragonslayer.

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