Tag Archives: Caramel

Spicy Caramel Popcorn

22 Feb

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There’s been a plethora of fancy schmancy popcorn recipes floating around on Pinterest lately. I’ve definitely wanted to give some of them a try and finally had the chance over Super Bowl weekend. The Super Bowl and the need for Super Bowl type snacks was the perfect excuse.

Now, I knew if I ended up creating popcorn dripping in deliciousness, it would be tasty yes, but probably give a bit of gut rot as a result. Maybe it’s just me, but TOO much sweetness is overwhelming sometimes. I found a great-looking recipe called Sriracha Caramel Corn via pinterest over at I Am A Food Blog and then tweaked it a bit to go easy on the flavor:popcorn ratio. I’ve renamed this version just ‘Spicy Caramel Popcorn’ as we didn’t use Sriracha and I’ve changed up the amounts of ingredients a bit. But great base recipe, definitely go check out  I Am A Food Blog for more tasty recipes!

This popcorn turned out as a perfect compromise as each kernel definitely had spicy caramel on it but nothing was too saturated. I thought it was a true success (well, it took me two tries to get this right) and had to share it with you all. Here we go…

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 cups of plain popcorn (or roughly 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels)
  • 1 Tbsp of coconut oil
  • 6 Tbsp of butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1-2 Tbsp of hot sauce of your choosing

How to Make:

As with many recipes I post on here, this one is not difficult. It’s great to make in advance for a party (i.e. Super Bowl), make for a late night snack or pack into several Ziplocs to bring to work/school as a mini treat. Possibilities are endless!

Now how to make this stuff? Right, right, that’s why you’re reading this. First, you gotta pop the corn. However you choose to do this with the kitchen appliances available to you, is your choice. I made this at Luke’s parents house and they have this awesome popcorn maker (is there a fancier name for that?!) that heats up your butter or oil (as noted above we used Coconut Oil) and then helps keep your popcorn contained as it heats up and pops. I was in awe. I realize this is likely not exciting to many of you but I was significantly entertained for the few minutes it took to pop this corn. (I may add this to the wedding registry…that’s how cool I think this is).

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To get the ratio of caramel:popcorn that we were looking for, we did 1/2 cup or so of popcorn kernels. This made quite a lot of popcorn! Once your popcorn is all popped, set it aside while you dive into the caramel sauce.

Before we start caramel-ing, preheat the oven to 250 degrees and line a baking sheet (with sides, ideally) with parchment paper or spray it down with Pam or olive oil.

Now to caramel! Heat up the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

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Mix in the packed brown sugar and stir constantly for about 3-4 minutes until it comes to a boil. Forewarning – this can very quickly burn so watch closely! I burned my first batch and had to start all over. Key is to not bring the heat too high, stir constantly and remove immediately once it boils and gets that caramel looking color to it.

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Remove from the heat as soon as the sauce gets that caramel color and set aside to cool.

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In a small bowl, mix the vanilla, salt, baking soda and the hot sauce you selected. If you’re going for more spice – aim for closer to 2 Tbsp (if you’re a real spice lover, you could do a bit more…at your own risk!) if you want less spice and more of a little ‘zing’ mixed in the caramel, aim closer to 1 Tbsp.

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Once this mixture is all combined, add this to the butter/sugar saucepan and stir together. It will likely bubble up quite a bit but have no fear – just stir until all combined and has a nice, silky sheen to it. Taste test it too just to be sure you have the spice level where you wanted.

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Now to combine! Pour the popcorn into the pan you prepped and then slowly dribble in the caramel sauce, turning the popcorn with a spatula to coat everything as evenly as you can. It helps to continue to mix and stir with the spatula after all the caramel as been poured in to really get everything coated.

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Pop this into the oven for an hour, stopping at 15 minute increments to stir and break apart any clumps.

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Once it’s all done, it’s ready to consume!

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Pour out into a large bowl for hungry humans to devour or into individual bowls so no one steals your portion! Or, you can also store this in airtight Ziplocs or containers for about a week.

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Seriously addicting popcorn and not overly sweet. I can promise you’ll love it! (Bold statement I realize, but prove me wrong if you think it’s too bold.)

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With that, I shall end another post. HOWEVER fun news to share…to tempt you to stay tuned…there will likely be another blog giveaway coming soon! The rules shall be the same as last time, all who are official blog followers (meaning you get email notifications when I post and are included in that total number in the upper right on the Home Page) will be eligible to win a treat box from me in the mail, filled to the brim with goodies! More details to come in the next few posts. But if you’re not already a follower, now is the time so you can be eligible! I’m thinking that two lucky individuals will win this time around…

Let me know how the popcorn attempts go, I always love your comments. 🙂

Cheers!

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Knock You Naked Brownies

19 Jul

Yes, that’s the title of this brownie variety. You wouldn’t be surprised why once you sink your teeth into these. Seriously.

This title I can’t take credit for at all. Though it is pretty perfect. This is a Pioneer Woman recipe and she named these so appropriately.

All you must know is these brownies are excellent. You may lose some socks…your right earring…your Twins hat. Who knows.

A friend of mine made these for a camping trip a few months ago, and they were devoured throughout the weekend. A panful of brownies between three of us girls. Not ashamed. I may have had one for breakfast itself one day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box (18.5 Ounce) German Chocolate Cake Mix (I Used Betty Crocker as that was literally the only brand of German Chocolate cake mix at my grocery store. I had to scan the shelf for an embarrassing length of time)
  • 1 cup Finely Chopped Pecans
  • 1/3 cup Evaporated Milk
  • 1/2 cup Evaporated Milk (to be added at a separate time)
  • 1/2 cup Butter, Melted
  • 60 whole Caramels, Unwrapped (The bag I found had only 50 in the bag, so I sucked it up and bought 2 bags. 60 is better than 50. Right?)
  • 1/3 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar

How to Make:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and  flour a 9 x 9 square pan. My parents taught me, when in doubt, flour the pan. Especially with brownie/cakes. So flour away!

Then grab yourself a big mixing bowl. Mix up the 1/3 cup evaporated milk…

and the cake mix…

…the melted butter…

…and the chopped pecans (I bought the pre-chopped variety…yes…I’m lazy).

The batter will get a little hard to stir and it will be quite tasty. Forewarning.

Now, to make the first layer of the brownies, split up this batter into two equal halves.

Take one half and press that into the bottom of your floured pan. Pop it into the oven for 8-10 minutes. When it’s all done, set it aside to cool for a bit.

Now, time for some double boiler madness! If you’re a double boiler newbie like me, this is setting a glass bowl (or other heatproof bowl) over a saucepan of boiling water. We’re going to melt some caramels.

First though, you get to peel these suckers. Put on some tunes or press play on your favorite show. The unwrapping (which I took at a leisurely pace) took me about 16 minutes.

1 down…

halfway…

DONE.

Once unwrapped, pour the rest of the evaporated milk (the other 1/2 cup) over the caramels in your heatproof bowl. Set it over your saucepan of boiling water and watch the double boiler effect take place. I stirred fairly consistently to get the whole mixture to melt evenly and to avoid burning.

Once it’s liquid gold like, pour that on top of the first baked brownie layer. If needed, help spread out the caramel with a spatula.

Your third layer is going to be the chocolate chips. Sprinkle those over the caramel.

Yes…it’s going to taste good.

And it gets better.

The rest of the brownie batter is now going to go on top of these three layers. The Pioneer Woman suggests flattening out the top brownie layer on a work surface (I used wax paper) into just about the size of the 9×9 pan. Then transfer the batter to the pan.

I’m not a good transfer-er of brownie batter. Not even close.

I transferred pieces of the batter and then kind of made it look normal-ish once it was all in the pan.

I don’t think you can really tell though, right?!? Plus the peek-a-boo caramel is kinda fun, right?? This is what I told myself at least.

Now…this whole concoction is going in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Your kitchen will smell delicious. Try to contain the drool and spend the 20-25 minutes being productive….doing the dishes…eating string cheese…watching ABC Family shows that you can’t share with the world that you watch (Pretty Little Liars…cough, cough). Either way, when it’s ALL cooked through, pull it out of the oven.

You must let this cool before you eat it. Serious. Ideally, cool to room temperature first and then put it into the fridge to harden. I feed a brownie square to my roomie prior to the fridge step and it was kind of a molten pile of goo. It was tasty goo, mind you. But goo. Definitely refrigerate before you cut and serve them.

After a few hours of you pacing in front of your refrigerator…pull ’em out and sprinkle them with powdered sugar. Cut them into squares…serve them to people you really enjoy.

I chose a pool-ful of people who each had two. Didn’t matter that it was hot out and the brownies were a little melty. They were divine.

Now – your turn. Go make yourself some brownies.

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