Sometimes my sweet tooth gets the best of me. When it softly whispers that it wants something, I usually give in. Nobody wants an irate sweet tooth. At that point, I don’t think it can even be called sweet.
Our family deals with multiple food allergies. Pre-packaged foods are not a convenience on which we can rely. So, when our sweet teeth begin getting rowdy, we must make our own concoctions.
Today, that concoction is in the form of crunchy caramel goodness.
Since the youngest man-child and I are running in a 5k this evening, I figured the family could us a little treat afterwards. It takes energy to cheer on the runners from the sidelines, right?
Thanks to Our Best Bites, our tummies and teeth are happy. My thighs might be angry with me, but we can’t win them all.
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Cinnamon Caramel Corn with Pecans & White Chocolate
Recipe courtesy of Our Best Bites
12 cups popped popcorn (about 1/2 C kernels)*
1 cup roughly chopped pecans
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup Karo syrup (or honey makes a good substitution)
1 stick real butter (1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
3 squares almond bark
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Place popcorn and chopped pecans in a large bowl and set aside.
Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Pyrex or glass, please. Microwaving plastic makes me cringe.
Chop butter into chunks and place on top of sugar mixture. Pour corn syrup (or honey) over the top of everything.
Microwave on high for 30 seconds to soften the butter, then stir to combine.
Return to microwave and heat for 2 minutes. Remove and stir and microwave for 2 minutes longer.
By this point it should be a bubbly mass of gooey caramel deliciousness. It’s molten lava at this point, so don’t put your finger in it to taste. You’ve been warned!
Remove from the microwave and add in vanilla and baking soda.The vanilla makes it bubble and pop and the baking soda makes it foamy.
Now take that foamy science project and pour it right over the popcorn and pecans. Quickly begin stirring to avoid having the caramel harden before all the popcorn is coated.
Spread popcorn mixture onto a foil-lined jelly roll pan.
At this point, it’s sticky and chewy. Place the pan in the oven for 13 minutes.
After 13 minutes, take a piece out and let it cool. Taste a piece to see if it is crunchy enough for your liking. If not, continue to bake for another 5 minutes. Bake in 5 minute increments until it is to your liking.
When the popcorn mixture is crunchy, remove from the oven and pour out onto a piece of parchment paper to cool. It tends to stick to the foil.
Melt the almond bark in the microwave for one minute. Stir and return to the microwave and cook for 30 seconds. Remove and stir. Cook 15-30 seconds at a time until fully melted.
Using a fork, drizzle the melted almond bark over the popcorn mixture.
When it has completely cooled and the almond bark has hardened, break into chunks and try not to eat the whole batch in one sitting.
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