Weather: 18 degrees, sun is rising, pink streaks of clouds over blue sky
What I’m listening to: kids have a day off of school today – thumping, toy sounds, and the loudness that is three young children
The first time I ever remember burning my finger in the kitchen, I was making popcorn balls with my grandma around Halloween. She told me the candy syrup was very hot, but when she turned her back for a moment, I tried to sneak a lick of the molten mixture. Of course, as soon as I pulled back in shock and pain, the candy firmed up and stuck to my finger. I learned valuable lessons that day – making homemade candy can be dangerous, how to treat a burn, and probably most importantly, listen to grandma. For every blossoming young cook there are these lessons along the way in the form of kitchen disasters and injuries that really become rites of passage for us.
So, we’re going to make a fabulous caramel popcorn today. And the first thing I want to say to you about this recipe is: don’t stick your finger in the hot caramel. I know it’s tempting. Don’t do it. Listen to grandma.
I popped my popcorn using my favorite brown bag method. Then, I lightly toasted some pecans and salted them. Finally, I made a simple caramel out of pure maple syrup and butter. Mmmmmmmmm. I poured the hot maple caramel over the popcorn and pecans, stirred to coat, and allowed it all to cool. Fall glory in popcorn form.
Salted Maple Pecan Caramel Corn
Adapted from [Gourmet|http://www.gourmet.com/recipes/2000s/2003/09/maplepopcorn]
Yields: About 8 cups
- 1/2c unpopped popcorn, popped and kernels removed
- 1c pecans, toasted*, salted, and roughly chopped
- 3T butter
- 3/4c pure maple syrup
- 1/2t salt
Spray a large metal mixing bowl and a wooden spoon with non-stick spray. Add the popcorn and pecans to the bowl and toss together.
In a small non-stick saucepan over medium heat, add the butter, syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil and cook until the mixture registers 300 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
Pour the hot caramel over the popcorn and pecans and use the wooden spoon to stir quickly until the everything is nicely coated. Immediately spread the mixture out onto a large baking sheet and allow to cool completely. Break the popcorn into smaller pieces and serve or store in an airtight container or bag.