Toffee Bugles

Years ago, now, a friend introduced me to the joy that is Caramel Puff Corn, known by my friends as “corn crack” because they cannot resist it.

Then, I was reading a novel where one of the main characters is kinda addicted to “toffee bugles” to the point where a local small shop stocks them just for him.

Then, came the joys of COVID and supply shortages and I couldn’t find puffed corn anywhere, so I decided to try making bugles.

And, y’know what?

It is really very good!

The only thing is…

the corn puffs were labelled as gluten-free, but, at least in the US, Bugles are not considered gluten-free because of possible cross contamination in the manufacturing process from other, gluten containing snack foods and treats. Go figure.

Still and all, if you do not worry about gluten, they make for a fine substitute and a tasty treat. I bring a couple of bags to my dentist when I go to see him, and he and his admin are very happy to see me!

•2 (7-1/2 oz) bags Bugles
•2 cups brown sugar
•1 cup butter
•1/2 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup – or corn syrup
•1 tsp vanilla
•1/8 tsp salt (if using unsalted butter)
•1/2 teaspoon baking soda
•Nuts (optional)

Heat your oven to 250º.

Spread the Bugles (and nuts, if using) in an even layer in a large pan – a non-stick turkey roaster works a treat here.

In a large pot (non-stick is best here, as well), melt the butter with the sugar, Lyle’s Golden Syrup (or corn syrup), vanilla, and salt – if using unsalted butter over medium heat, stirring often.

Note: if you are not using a non-stick pan, you will need to be stirring almost constantly, so, plan accordingly.

Once the butter and brown sugar have melted, bring the mixture to a boil and let simmer for five minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda. The mixture will thicken and foam up a bit, so, again, choose your pot well. I rely on my non-stick Dutch oven.

Immediately pour over the Bugles (and nuts, if using) and stir.

Note: do not worry if you cannot evenly coat all of the Bugle mixture, they will all be more or less evenly coated in the baking and stirring process.

Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes, this is where you can even out the coating.

When done, give a good stir to break things up a bit, then set aside to cool.

Once cool, transfer to a tightly lidded container, or, for giving away, zipper storage bags; I can generally get two nicely sized gallon bags out of one batch, perfect for my dentist and his admin. For more wide spread gift giving, quart bags are well received as well.

Happy munching!

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