Academy Awards Caramel Toffee Popcorn
I will accept any event as a reason to bake up something delicious. Kids soccer game this weekend? Of course I’ll make citrus muffins for the team! What’s that, you have a meeting at work on Wednesday? I’ll make some festive jumbo cookies for you and your co-workers. This goes on and on…luckily my husband is pretty understanding of my need to be constantly baking something!
Since tomorrow night is one of my favorite awards shows of the year, I felt compelled to make something in keeping with the theme of the event. Movies, actors, Hollywood- what comes to mind? Well… scandal, fashion and money, yes- but what else? POPCORN!! And not just any old popcorn, Paula Deen’s Caramel Corn! I have been making this recipe for a few years now and I refuse to try another one. It’s the stubborn Irish in me I suppose. It’s just so easy, requires so few ingredients and doesn’t take all day to accomplish. Plus, it’s a Paula Deen recipe so obviously it’s a winner. Now, because I am ridiculous and love adding on fun little yummies in almost everything I bake, I add about 1/4C of Toffee Bits to my batch of popcorn. It adds a wonderful nutty taste and really brings out the butter in the recipe. This addition is totally optional and you could always substitute with something else like, oh I don’t know, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, peanuts, etc. The caramel acts as a nice little adhesive for anything you might want to add. Let’s get started, shall we?
Here is our cast of characters:
Preheat your oven to 200°.
This recipe calls for 8 quarts of popped popcorn. After a few google searches (there are 4 Cups in 1 quart) I determined that 4 bags of popcorn was about 8 quarts. I used microwave popcorn because I don’t have a fancy air popper. Also, this movie theatre butter popcorn was on sale at my grocery store so…in the cart it went. If you wanted to use kettle corn or even save a few calories and use light butter I assure you it turns out just as wonderful. The caramel is the star in this recipe so use whatever popcorn you have.
Take the time to shake the unpopped kernels to the bottom of the bowl, then transfer the popcorn to a large roasting pan, leaving the kernels behind and eventually, in the trash.
There is nothing worse than biting into a gooey chunk of caramel popcorn only to practically crack a molar in half because a kernel was hiding inside. ouch.
The recipe doesn’t say anything about stirring it while it’s boiling but I had the overwhelming urge to do so at least once, so I did it. Stir as you see fit.
After 5 minutes, remove your pan from the heat and add the baking soda. Now you definitely need to stir. Make sure you get the baking soda as mixed in as possible. You will see your mixture turn to a funky kind of liquid foam….trust me, it’s a delicious liquid foam.
If you are going to add the toffee or something else, now is the time to add 1/2 of it- just sprinkle it all over. Grab the remaining caramel and pour it over the popcorn. Add the last 1/2 of your toffee or topping and mix, mix, mix until you feel your popcorn is caramel covered to your liking.
Place your roasting pan in your oven and set the timer for 1 hour. You will need to stir it every 15 minutes so I set my microwave timer in 15 minute increments so I don’t forget, because I do that a lot.
It is a cardinal sin for any caramel to remain stuck to the bottom of the pan so use any means necessary to scrape ALL caramel from the pan, then dump it on the popcorn. Spread the popcorn out and break up any large clumps that have formed, unless that is your favorite thing, then leave them! Let it dry for a few hours and then store it in a tupperware for up to a week. After a week it will still be delicious, but does start to get a bit soggy/stale. I’m not going to lie, I still eat it but that’s just me- it’s a weakness.
Enjoy and please share with me what you would add in, or did add in- I love new ideas!
Also, a serving size of 1 cup will add about 135 calories to your day. (Prepared as written by Paula Deen, with the addition of toffee.)
Thanks for stopping by!!