Pecan Caramel Popcorn

popcornI haven’t had homemade caramel corn since I was a little kid and my mom made popcorn balls. With all the goodies the kiddo and I were making this year to give away as gifts, I really wanted to add some of this goodness in too. It turned out crispy/crunchy and the caramel flavor is to die for. It’s pretty simple, but be aware it’s going to be super messy to make!

I stole this recipe from Martha Stewart and changed only that I used toasted pecans instead of raw almonds.

  • 3/4 cup popcorn kernels – I tried some small white popcorn because it said it has less hulls. It’s good. Not sure it matters what kind you use though
  • 3 Tblsp oil (I used Crisco vegetable oil)
  • 2-3 cups pecans (recipe calls for 2, but I used more because I love them!)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt (if butter is salted do not add salt at the end – unsalted, use salt)
  • 2 jelly roll pans
  • tin foil
  • candy thermometer
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Butter very very very well 2 jelly roll pans. (I lined with tinfoil and buttered the foil. Butter it WELL. The parts that were too thin stuck badly.
  3. Place corn and oil in a large pot over med-high heat, and cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar so that steam can escape. Once kernels begin to pop, shake pot frequently. When popping slows to about 2 seconds apart, remove from heat and transfer to a very large mixing bowl.
  4. Add the nuts to the popcorn and mix well.
  5. In a heavy bottom 2 quart pan, cook sugar, butter and corn syrup over medium heat, stirring, until it reaches 255 degrees on candy thermometer.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in extracts and baking soda and salt if needed.
  7. Pour very carefully over popcorn and mix well with large plastic spoons, making sure to keep fingers out because it’s hot.
  8. Spread onto pans and place in oven for 1/2 hour. Stir. Bake for another 1/2 hour and remove. As it cools, peel it off the foil and lay out on clean counter to finish cooling. Will be crispy when room temp.
  9. Store in air tight bags or containers.
  10. Share with friends, this makes a BIG batch!

 

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