The days are growing shorter as the season that every food blogger dreads is getting closer. Ok I don’t really dread it, as autumn and the Holidays are my favorite season/s. But it definitely makes photographing harder. We are not to the worst yet–that is when the time changes and suddenly dinner is being served in the dark. But my available hours for taking pictures are shrinking every day. And because this treat needs to get into the mail for The Leftovers Club, I finally just gave up and took my pictures in the dark with artificial light. So please excuse the photos.
This recipe was not an easy one to get right. Most of the recipes I tried went either somewhat awry (solidifying too fast to get on the popcorn) or really awry (basically turning into caramel flavored granulated sugar!). So finally, after a lot of thrown out popcorn, I pulled out my Chocolates and Confections at Home with The Culinary Institute of America. In other words, one of my go-to sources for candy making (if you are curious, the other is Chocolates and Confections: Formula, Theory, and Technique for the Artisan Confectioner–both are by Peter P. Greweling). FInally! Success!
I am no baking scientist or candy making expert, but if I had to guess I think the 2 key differences were adding baking soda and keeping the popcorn in a very warm (350 F) oven. I did not follow Greweling’s recipe exactly, but those were the 2 key components I think. The successful salted caramel was much easier to stir into the popcorn, thereby leading to it actually coating the popcorn. I actually sent a batch to my dad also–I added Reese’s Minis Peanut Butter Cups to his, and to Liz over at Honey and Nonno I sent a batch with Kit Kat Minis (these are the ones pictured). Any chocolate candy will work–this would be a great way to use up Halloween leftovers! If I were to do it again, I would probably wait a bit longer to add the candies so that they didn’t melt quite so much. Also, I would wait for drier weather! I really hope these are not a sticky mess when they arrive; you might be able to tell that I lined my paper bag with parchment paper, hoping it would help with sticking. Just my luck it got crazy humid and warmer when I decided to make this! Candy making is almost always better in cool, dry weather.
If you are a blogger and would like to participate in The Leftovers Club, please check us out at The Leftovers Club. The more the merrier–the more we can keep exchanging with different bloggers! Be sure to check out everyone else’s awesome recipes for The Leftovers Club below. (This Linky is for members of The Leftovers Club only to display their amazing treats that they sent to another blogger to sample!):
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I always have such iffy luck with caramel…but I’m so glad to see you got it right! There is no way I’d be able to resist snacking on this nonstop!
I made caramels for the fist time and have amazing success – which is weird ’cause that never happens to me. I usually have disastrous results after many hours of labor. I can imagine getting it on popcorn, melted just right would be daunting. So glad you pulled it off (and I am guessing so is Liz).
Elizabeth @ Food Ramblings says
I used popcorn too this month– great minds think alike 🙂
Ruthy @ Omeletta says
What a perfect Leftovers Club treat! I always send out caramel corn at Christmas, but I think this may need to get bumped up a few months.
kelly @ kellybakes says
I’m so glad you posted about that book! I’ve seen it a few times on Amazon and in various bookstores. I grab it, flip through it, clutch it to my chest, but somehow never commit to buying it. I might need to add it to my wishlist this Christmas, especially if it’ll help me get over my fear of making caramel corn!
Stephanie @ PlainChicken says
I must have this popcorn in my life! Looks delicious!
Heather @ Sugar Dish Me says
Awesome snack!!!! It looks beautiful!
I’m with you though– you know things are getting crazy when you are cooking dinner at 8 am to be photographed before noon… I’m sure my family loves me.