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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