December 22, 2010 - - It wouldn't be Christmas without my buttery, toffee-carmel coated, crunchy popcorn with little pecan surprises. It will make you crazy. 'Cuz you can't stop eating it. Trust me. It's gooooood.
|Praline Popcorn Crunch|
My mom made it for years. And we all just loved it. Now I make it. I usually bring it to the big family gathering at Christmas. But since we're not going this year, I'm counting on my sister to be the popcorn maker.
I used to make batches and batches to give our neighbors and friends, too. One year I decided to make cookies instead. Which is a lot more work, and were also really yummy. You should have seen their sad eyes when they opened the container and didn't' find the buttery, crunchy popcorn goodness they were expecting. It's not good to mess with tradition.
So Kathy, you're up. It's your turn to make the Praline Popcorn. Have fun little sis.
Praline Popcorn Crunch
10 cups popcorn (~1/3 cup un-popped or 2 bags plain microwave popcorn)
1 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. light corn syrup
1/2 c. butter
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. baking soda
1 cup whole pecans (optional)
Pre-heat your oven to 300º
1. Grease a large baking pan, or 2 small baking pans
2. Pop the popcorn, remove all the kernels. Spread out on the baking sheets. Set aside.
3. In a medium saucepan combine the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat until boiling. Continue cooking at a gentle boil 5 minutes - stirring constantly. VERY IMPORTANT.
4. Remove from heat.
5. Add the baking soda and vanilla. Stir until well combined.
6. Immediately pour mixture over the popcorn and stir to coat all the popcorn.
7. Sprinkle the pecans over the popcorn and stir again.
8. Bake in a 300º oven for 15 minutes. Stir and bake 5 minutes more.
9. Turn the popcorn mixture onto a large sheet of waxed paper. Cool. Store covered.
I've been making my popcorn the old fashioned way lately in a pan on the stove. You can do this if you can't find plain popcorn. You don't want to use butter-flavored popcorn for this.
To make plain popcorn on the stove:
1. Lightly coat the bottom of a medium saucepan with vegetable oil.
2. Add a single layer of popcorn to the pan. Cover the pan.
3. Turn heat to med/med-high.
4. Shake pan gently a few times as it's popping. Take off the stove when the popping starts to really slow down - about two seconds in between pops.
5. Watch out for the hot steam when you remove the lid.