Candy Bar Caramel Corn
Oh yes, definitely worth the time and effort. I love caramel corn and the addition of the candy bars made it even better.
I had the dubious pleasure this weekend of getting to spend an hour in the kitchen with Joe watching an ice cube melt. No, I am not joking and it was not a misspelling…..we literally stood around and watched an ice cube melt.
I guess I should explain. Joe is taking a science class and is required to do an experiment of some sort. If you know Joe you will understand that the idea of this gave me hours of anxiety. The combination of Joe and a science experiment generally involves some sort of explosion. Instead of leaving him in the kitchen unsupervised, even if he told me he just needed to melt an ice cube, I had to be there to make sure that:
- He did not make a huge mess that would take hours to clean up
- He found everything he needed without tearing the entire kitchen apart and leaving a huge mess
- Nothing exploded and left a huge mess
So, that is why I gave up an hour of my life to watch and ice cube melt to find out that this was not the actual experiment…..he wanted to know how long he could expect that it would take. What?!?!?! I just spent an hour watching an ice cube melt so that he would know how long to plan for the actual experiment? You mean I have to do this again? Really?
I can only say, it’s a good thing I had this to munch on while I was standing around.
My first foray into caramel corn started with an attempt to pop it in a pan on the stove. Can I just say that I suck at that? Unfortunately, I had already started the caramel mixture so I used microwave popcorn. It didn’t turn out horribly but since it was “Butter Lovers” popcorn, it was a little soggy after I added the caramel. If you want to use microwave popcorn for this, go for it but I don’t recommend the butter flavored. After that mess I decided to buy an air popper from Amazon to make sure that I could have caramel corn whenever I wanted it. (Here is the one I bought if you are interested: The Involuntary Housewife Recommends: Cooking Supplies)
The great thing about this recipe is that it is almost the same as the other caramel corn that I knew I loved with a small addition, chocolate! I used plain old Hershey bars to start with. I am a scaredy cat and wanted to make sure that it turned out really well with a basic chocolate before I got too creative.
I didn’t want to make the full 12 cups in case it turned out badly so I halved the caramel mixture.
That turned out to be a bad idea since apparently I had more than half the amount of popcorn that is called for.
I didn’t get full coverage! A little sad but not tragic. I want to make a quick note here, when you are pouring your caramel mixture on the popcorn do it gently and slowly. If you just dump it all on top and then try to mix it, your popcorn will deflate and it will not go well.
After you have add the caramel and coated it add your chocolate.
Stir gently to mix and then lay the mixture on a cookie sheet. Parchment paper is a must here otherwise you may never get your pan cleaned again. Do I need to tell you that I speak from experience? I didn’t think so.
I love that this recipe only has you bake it for 10 – 15 minutes. So many of the other caramel corn recipes have it in the oven for an hour and I was a little nervous that this was only in for a short time. I was afraid that the coating would not completely bake onto the popcorn. I flipped it around with a spatula twice and the coating stuck beautifully when I took it out after 15 minutes. Yay!
While it is still warm, give it another dose of chocolate and then let cool. Once it cools completely break it into pieces and try not to eat it all at once.
This is incredible. I love it, almost too much. I have been trying to decide what my next chocolate bar addition will be and I just can’t decide!
Anyone have a suggestion? Let me know what you would add….I need to make more since apparently I get to stand around one night this week watching yet more ice cubes melt.
**Updated 11/5/13 – This is a favorite in our house, I make it at least once every couple of months and am always trying different kinds of chocolate with it. I have found that if I wait to add the chocolate until halfway through the baking time it melts perfectly but never burns!