Tis the season for all things savory and sweet, and I would be remiss if I did not, once again, share this most favorite of gathering sweets – caramel coated puffed corn – now, as the title suggests – with a hint of real Maine maple syrup!
In the years I’ve been making this treat, I’ve also learned a thing or two, which has greatly helped in preparation and clean up.
Number 1: Low and Slow. You can make the caramel just as easily over low heat and
without the chance for burning and bubbling over.
Nice deal , in my book.
Number 2: Good, heavy non-stick sauce and baking pans make clean up a snap, and no nasty burnt sugar bits to deal with.
Also a nice deal.
So, that said, let us make some “Corn Crack” as it is known among my friends, because this stuff is wicked hard to resist.
•1 (8 oz) bag corn puffs (look with the chips)
•1 cup butter (no substitute)
•1 cup brown sugar
•1/2 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup – or corn syrup
•1 tbsp real maple syrup
•1 tsp baking soda
•1 or 2 cups almonds, pecans, or peanuts
Heat your oven to 250º and add the corn puffs and nuts, if adding them to a large, heavy anodized aluminum roasting pan (best results – if you don’t have one, consider making the investment; I got mine almost 20 years ago at Costco and have never looked back.
In a large, heavy, also non-stick sauce pan, melt the butter with the brown sugar, maple syrup, and Lyle’s Golden Syrup over low heat, stirring every now and again, until everything has nicely melted together.
Next – and here is where that low heat treatment really saves the day – stir in the teaspoon of baking soda.
The caramel will lighten and foam up, as you can see here; but the low heat allows you to control the foaming and helps keep it all from boiling up and out of the pot.
Always a good deal, if you ask me.
Allow the caramel to come to a simmer and let bubble for two minutes, stirring often.
Pour the caramel over the corn puffs and nuts (if using) and stir to mix.
Don’t worry if, at first, it all looks kinda splotchy like this. Three sets of baking and stirring will fix you right up!
Pop into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove the pan, give it all a stir – see? The caramel is already more uniformly spread, then pop the pan back into the oven for another 15 minutes.
Remove the pan, stir again, and pop back into the oven for one, last, 15 minute bake.
You caramel corn is evenly coated and ready to eat – or – set aside to cool completely and store in two, one gallon, zipper storage bags until needed.
I think that you will find it is needed a heckuva lot! Happy holidaze!