Friday, November 8, 2013

Turtle Corn

When I think about this time of year, I think about making caramel corn as a young girl. We made caramel corn at least once a year and it was always around the holidays. So, to me, caramel corn is a holiday tradition.
However, the inspiration for this recipe goes one step further. I was at work a few weeks ago and suddenly craved a candy bar, and not just any candy bar, but the one that is supposed to satisfy. You know what I mean? Well, I never got the candy bar so I wanted to make something at home to satisfy the craving. On the way home, I picked up some popcorn and cashews, knowing I had everything else at home, in order to make this delicious treat.
This recipe takes the classic caramel corn a few steps further. Not only do you have the sweet homemade caramel covering the tender popcorn, but I added salty cashews with decadent chocolate. AMAZING! So now when I have a craving, all I have to do is go to the pantry and grab a handful of this Turtle Corn to calm my salty, sweet desires. Enjoy!
2 Sticks Butter
2 Cups Light Brown Sugar, Packed
1/2 Cup Light Corn Syrup
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
6 Cups Popped Corn
3 Ounces (weight) Cashew Halves
1/3 Cup Milk Chocolate Chips

1. Melt butter, sugar, corn syrup and sea salt in a large pot over medium heat. Allow the sugar mixture to come to a gentle boil. Once the syrup begins to boil. set the kitchen timer for 5 minutes. During this time, do not stir the pot. Allow it to boil and foam on itself.
2. While the caramel is boiling, line a roasting pan or cookie sheet with wax paper. Place the popped corn on the pan. Sprinkle with cashews.
3. After 5 minutes, remove the caramel from the heat and carefully stir the baking soda into the pot.
4. Immediately pour over the popcorn and cashews. Stir to coat.
5. Place in a 200 degree preheated oven and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
***NOTE: If you want a crisper finished product, add an additional 15 minute interval to the baking for a total of 75 minutes.***
6. After 45 minutes, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the caramel corn. Return to the oven for the final 15 minutes.
7. Remove from the oven and gently stir.
8. Pour onto another wax paper lined pan and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.
9. Store any leftover turtle corn in an airtight container at room temperature.

Note: I made this using old fashioned popping corn on the stovetop, popping 1 cup of kernels in 1/4 cup oil. You can make it with plain microwave corn or air-popped corn as well. All that matters is that the popcorn is fresh and plain.

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