I was gonna do a post on cranberry relish for this Friday before Thanksgiving; but I really just did that a month or so ago, here, so thought, instead, I’d revisit another holiday tradition for us: Caramel Puff Corn.
Introduced to this kinda addictive treat three years ago by the very nice lady who cuts our hair, I will usually make several batches to hold us through the holidays and entertaining and plain ole noshing. Good thing it’s as simple to toss together as it is hard to resist.
*Note: in place of corn syrup, I use Lyle’s Golden Syrup, a pure sugar cane syrup made in England. Some markets carry it, but I just order a couple of jars from Amazon to get me through the season. I think it, and the fact that I only use higher fat content Irish butter now, gives the caramel a richer, more satisfying, flavor.
Heat your oven to 250º and stir the puff corn and nuts (if you’re adding them) together in a large, non-stick roasting pan.
Melt the butter together with the brown sugar and Lyle’s (or corn syrup) in a large pan over medium low heat, stirring often.
Note: you are gonna need to use a large pan – like a Dutch oven – because, when you add the baking soda to the caramel, it is gonna bubble up, and a big pot is easier to clean of sticky caramel than the top of your stove. Do not ask me how I know this.
Immediately pour the caramel over the puffed corn and nuts in the roasting pan and stir to combine.
Don’t worry if you have some bits of corn or nuts that aren’t coated in the caramel, it’ll all even out as it bakes.
Remove from the oven and break up the corn a bit with a spatula, then set aside to cool completely.
Go ahead, taste a bit…
y’know, for quality control.
Transfer the cooled caramel corn to two gallon sized zipper bags and try to resist it sitting there in the pantry.