Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Twix Caramel Popcorn

Believe it or not, I used to think I didn't like caramel popcorn.  As a kid, when my family got one of those bins of popcorn for Christmas, I stuck with plain stuff, and maybe took a handful of white cheddar.  But no caramel for me.  I also thought I didn't like chocolate.  I was a very stupid child.  Now I know that I love both.  Unfortunately, maybe I love both a little too much!

I saw this recipe for Twix caramel popcorn on Two Peas and Their Pod's website and knew I had to try it.  Caramel corn drizzled with melted chocolate and garnished with Twix bars sounds pretty darn good to me!  I bought a big bag of Twix Fun Size candy bars and have been playing around with adding them to some goodies while trying to keep my husband out of them.  Some of my experiments have been more successful than others.  Some days I have been more successful at keeping my husband out of the Twix than others.  This recipe came from a tested source so it wasn't much of an experiment.  But it was totally successful!

Although I notoriously don't follow directions when I try new recipes (which might be why some of my experiments failed!), I did followed these directions closely.  I am a newbie at making caramel corn, and making caramel in general is a little intimidating.  It turned out great and was easier than I thought it would be.  

I made this for a party, and after doing the requisite taste test, it was a miracle any of this popcorn even made it to the party.  It is so addictive I feel like it should come with a warning label!  So here's my warning: do not make this when you are home alone.  You will eat the entire batch.  You will have to buy new pants.  Don't let this happen to you!  This public service announcement has been sponsored by The Foodie RD.

Now that I've warned you, let's get started making some.  I knew you couldn't resist!  Start out by popping some plain popcorn.  As I discussed in my post on maple pecan pie popcorn, I have a cool microwave popcorn popper, but you can use a bag of unflavored microwaveable popcorn.
To make the caramel topping, start by melting butter in a medium saucepan.  
Then stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt.  Bring it to a boil for a minute, stirring constantly.
Then let it boil for 4 minutes without stirring.  Fine by me!
Take it off the heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla extract.  This step was kind of fun!  It bubbles up!
Drizzle the caramel over the popcorn and stir it gently to coat.
Spread the popcorn over two large baking sheets and bake at 250 degrees for an hour, stirring about every 15 minutes.
In the last few minutes of baking, chop up some Twix bars.  Try not to eat too many in this step.  You're gonna want them for the next!
Toss the chopped Twix bars into the caramel popcorn, then drizzle with melted chocolate and stir to coat.
Let the popcorn set for about 30 minutes to allow the chocolate to dry.  Then dig in!  Remember, I warned you about needing to share!

Twix Caramel Popcorn
5 quarts plain air popped popcorn
1 cup butter
2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
20 fun size Twix candy bars, chopped
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Place popcorn in a large bowl and set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.  Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Boil without stirring for 4 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla extract.  Pour caramel in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.  Gently stir until all of the popcorn is covered.
Place popcorn on two large shallow baking sheets and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for about an hour.  Remove popcorn from oven and let cool completely.
Break popcorn into pieces and mix in chopped Twix candy bars.  Drizzle popcorn with melted chocolate.  Let the popcorn sit until chocolate hardens, about 30 minutes.  Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod

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