October 27, 2010

Pop Pop - Making Caramel Corn for Halloween

Halloween often means too much sugar and enough orange and black to last a lifetime, but it can also mean deliciously simple caramel corn. This Pepita Honey Caramel Corn is sticky and sweet, with a nice hint of smokiness from the mezcal. It’s perfect for your grown-up Halloween parties, or just a treat while curled up watching movies.

Pepita Honey Caramel Corn
adapted from gourmet.com

Makes about 12 cups
Active Time:20 min
Start to Finish:1 hr

• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
• 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
• 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
• 1/2 cup honey
• 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 cup pepitas
• ½ tablespoon mezcal

Special equipment: a candy thermometer

• Heat oil with 3 kernels in a 3-quart heavy saucepan, covered, over moderate heat until 1 or 2 kernels pop. Remove lid and quickly add remaining kernels, then cook, covered, shaking pan frequently, until kernels stop popping, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and uncover.
• Line bottom of a large shallow baking pan with foil. Lightly oil foil. Melt butter in a 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat. Add brown sugar and honey and bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring, then boil, without stirring, until syrup registers 300ºF on thermometer, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat.
• Using a wooden spoon or a heatproof spatula, stir salt, mezcal and baking soda into syrup, then quickly stir in pepitas and popcorn to coat. Immediately spread mixture in baking pan as thinly and evenly as possible. Cool completely, then break into bite-size pieces.

-Bryce Clark

picture courtesy 101 cookbooks

Bryce Clark
Culinary Assistant

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