Chocolate Caramel Corn with Cranberries and Almonds
December 7th, 2011
I have a handful of issues when it comes to food. As in the type of issues where one could potentially find me in a dark corner of the closet, well, closet eating. I think my number one “issue” very well may be caramel corn. (does anyone else have a vice this tremendous!?)
We have visited this a couple times over with recipes like Easter Crack and the original beauty Brown Sugar Caramel Corn. This is an updated variety, full of Holiday twists!
I took my crispy, sweet Brown Sugar Caramel Corn and coated it in Chocolate. Then I added chocolate covered almonds and tart dried cranberries. Now my issues have multiplied….
Oh! A note on the almonds. I used Trader Joes chocolate covered almonds with turbinado sugar and sea salt. They are to die for amazing. I had to bake them into something to keep from just shoveling them in raw.
Chocolate Caramel Corn, makes 12 cups
1 cup organic popping corn
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ tsp kosher salt
1 cup butter
2 cups light brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups of chocolate covered almonds 2 cups dried cranberries
(Optional: additional raisinettes or chocolate covered pomegranate seeds)
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
Chop the almonds roughly.
Put a large pot over a medium heat, and add the oil and popcorn. Put a lid on the pot, with a small gap so that steam can escape.
Pop the corn until there are a few seconds between pops, and it sounds like they are mostly cooked.
Dump the popped corn into a large buttered roasting pan (like one you would use for your thanksgiving turkey!) and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt.
In the same pot that you made the popcorn, melt the butter, sugar, corn syrup and salt together.
Let them boil, and continue to stir them for about 5 minutes.
In a tiny bowl, mix the baking soda and vanilla together so that the soda is mostly dissolved. When the caramel has cooked about 5 minutes, pull the pot off of the heat, and stir in the vanilla and baking soda. The caramel should get very light and frothy.
Immediately pour the caramel over the popcorn, and gently fold the caramel into the corn to try to coat it.
At this point you will probably think that you have not made enough caramel for the corn, as there will be globs of caramel, and a lot of the popcorn will not seem well coated. But don’t worry! This is where the oven comes in.
Put the roasting pan in the preheated oven (250 degrees), and bake the popcorn for about 7-8 minutes.
Gently stir the popcorn into the melting caramel until the popcorn is better coated.
Repeat this again at the 15 minute mark, after which the popcorn should be quite evenly coated.
Bake for another 15 minutes, and then remove from the oven.
Give the corn one final stir to coat the popcorn, and then leave it to cool for a couple minutes.
Add the dried cranberries and chocolate covered almonds and stir to coat. The chocolate will begin to melt, coating the popcorn as you stir.
You will have to leave out of the way for several hours until the chocolate firms up again.
When the popcorn is totally cool, it will have a nice, thin, crispy coating and then a second layer of chocolate. There will also be tart bits of dried cranberries and crunchy almonds. Store in airtight containers.