Well, it’s been a little quiet around here the last couple of weeks. Not for lack of trying or ideas to share. Life has gotten busy as of late, as it seems to in the fall. While there are days I shake my head and wish for a quieter calendar and less hustle and bustle, I know that in a month or two, when winter blows in with its’ cold and snow, our hibernation (of sorts) will begin and things will slow down. So for now, we are soaking up the busy-ness, evenings of soccer, fall sunshine, crisp mornings, the ever-changing colors of the trees & fields and hunting down pumpkins and apples at the farmers’ market like it’s our job.
For many, the season of fall means the flavors of pumpkin and cinnamon, in the form of homey baked goods and autumn spiced lattes. I haven’t yet been able to convince my family of the awesomeness of all things pumpkin, so for us, fall means caramel and apples…in all forms. We’ve been enjoying lovely homemade caramel sauce (drizzled on anything and everything), Honey Crisp apples, apple crisps and caramel corn.
Up until recently, the thought of making caramel corn made me cringe. My impression had been that it was more time intensive, and when making snacks for 3 boys (that eat everything in sight) I need snacks to be worth the time I put into them.
That’s where this recipe comes in. After searching, trying a few different recipes and taking polls from my 3 helpful taste testers, this is a combination of our favorites. Brown sugar for caramel flavor, a little vanilla added for depth and roasted peanuts for a bit of protein and saltiness.
- 1 cup popcorn kernels, popped
- 1 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Preheat oven to 200 F.
- In a large bowl mix popped popcorn and peanuts, set aside.
- In a sauce pan over medium high heat, melt the butter.
- Add the brown sugar.
- Immediately stir in heavy cream and salt and stir constantly as it comes to a boil.
- As soon as it comes to a boil, continue to stir for 1 more minute, stirring constantly.
- Turn off burner and add the baking soda, keep stirring. The caramel mixture will foam up, this is normal and the reaction that you want.
- Immediately pour over popcorn and peanuts.
- Stir so that it is evenly coated.
- Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.
On a side note….I’m headed to Chicago for the marathon this weekend! Since the Windy City is known for it’s fabulous food I’d LOVE to hear any suggestions you might have for where I should eat while I’m visiting. Thanks…and have a wonderful weekend!