COOKING: SUPER DUPER EASY CARAMEL POPCORN

We’re huge – no massive – fans of Harry & David Moose Crunch. Seriously. I fight Steve for it every year when our packages arrive. I’ve even been known to stash it into my secret spots all over the house (of course this doesn’t help me when I go looking for it when I want to eat it.) This tasty popcorn treat is coated with brown sugar and corn syrup caramel then micro waved for a crunchy and simply tasty treat.

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup butter

2 ¼ cups “golden” brown sugar

3/4 cup corn syrup

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 bags of “natural” or “plain” microwave popcorn (or about 5 quarts popped popcorn)

1 ½ cups mini chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

Place popcorn in a very large bowl, making sure to pick out all the unpopped kernels.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. (If you have a candy thermometer, cook it to 260 degrees). Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. It’s going to foam, so make sure you’ve got space in your saucepan for it – and just keep stirring. The foam will die back down. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.

Divide the corn into two big paper grocery bags. Microwave each bag for 30 - 40 seconds, remove the bag from the microwave and shake it (without opening the bag). Repeat microwaving and shaking for a total of 4 times for each bag. Open the bags carefully sprinkle in ¾ cup of chocolate chips into each bag and quickly shake the bag to both melt the chocolate and distribute it evenly. Then spread out the candied corn to cool on a waxed cookie sheet - breaking up any large pieces (or to make it even easier, just lay out sheets of parchment paper on your countertops or table)

Clean up is easy - just throw away the bags. Gotta LOVE that!

NOTES:

Try adding 2 cups of dry roasted peanuts, or even the deluxe mixed nuts before separating the mixture into the grocery sacks.

If you have any leftover, store in an air tight container or it will get soft. Portion controlling into Ziploc bags makes snacking hand.)

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