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I've been blogging over at Our Sleeping Flowers these days. Still me, and still delicious, come join me!

this annual halloween tradition is from aaron's upbringing. for as long as i've known my husband, he has loved to eat sticky, gooey, gummy become-one-with-your-teeth treats. when we watch those 'how it's made' shows and they highlight some kind of candy, and they show it at the stage where it's just a ginormous big-as-a-human size hunk of gummy sugar he comments, "i'd like to take that whole thing and just {omn!}" demonstrating with his hands as if he were a wild animal sinking his chops into a slab of thigh. sorry for the mental image.

so when we make car'mle corn on halloween it can't be too hard or too crunchy (although he doesn't complain if it is). it should be gooey, but not too gooey, and leave bits of car'mle on the teeth so it takes a while to completely digest. When you enjoy something so much, may as well make it last. this is why we make it for both halloween and christmas, we may even do it for thanksgiving if we feel like it.

car'mle corn {balls}
from mommer

about 10-12 quarts popcorn
2 ½ cups packed brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
½ cup butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
A few drops of vanilla
dash of salt

Pop popcorn, set in big bowl(s). To assure that there are no stray kernels place popcorn in one bowl, and with hands making a loose 'basket' transfer to another bowl leaving kernels behind. a 'basket' means you hold your hands as if you're going to interlock your fingers, but none of your fingers touch. this is a tried and true technique. if you get kernels in your balls, you did it wrong. or i just didn't explain it well enough.

In a saucepan bring brown sugar and corn syrup to a boil, stirring constantly. Add butter, cooking until completely melted. Add sweetened condensed milk and vanilla, bring to a boil. Boil for at least 3 ½ minutes stirring constantly, or until just before the soft crack temperature on a candy thermometer. Test this by dropping a little bit of the caramel in a glass of cold water, take it out and test its consistency. In between soft and hard ball is perfect. When it’s ready, immediately take the caramel off direct heat, add salt, and pour over popcorn.

Toss popcorn until all of it is coated, then butter up your hands and make those balls. I put balls in brackets because we only sometimes make them into balls, for the past few years we've just laid it out on wax paper and pull off various sized slabs, good for those thinking about portion control; although none of us ever are.

and yes, this is the same recipe we use for caramel apples. it's a good caramel recipe.

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