Thursday, December 1, 2011

Caramel-y Popcorn--Week #10 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies

Good grief!  Are we seriously already to week 10?  How did this happen?  I gotta get started on making the kids' Christmas presents, I guess!!!!

Anyway, this week's recipe is another tasty fail.  (Like how I fail tastily, so I can still use the recipe, just change what it is a recipe for?)  I was hoping to make popcorn balls without corn syrup, since A) I don't use the stuff often enough that it fits in my X-Treme Food Stamp Challenge lifestyle and B) I question how healthy the stuff is.  I found that my alternate sugary substances didn't give it enough sticky cohesion at the end to hold a ball shape.  It did make for a darn tasty caramel corn though!  You probably could even substitute turbinado or Sucanat for the sugars in this recipe if you try to avoid processed sugar, if those kind of fancy-schmancy sugars fit in your budget.

One more thing to note: when making the coating, if you taste it right after you put everything in, it will taste really molasses-y, but the taste will fade and transform into more of a caramel flavor as it cooks.  I was scared when I was making it, so I figure I should warn you!

Caramely Popcorn

6 tbsp sugar
6 3/4 tsp water
pinch of cream of tartar
2 tbsp molasses
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 tsp salt
 8 cups plain popped popcorn

Combine sugar, water, and cream of tartar in a large pan or Dutch oven.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Reduce to simmer; cover for 3 minutes.  Uncover and simmer, stirring often until mixture reaches a temperature of 235-245 degrees.  Add molasses, brown sugar, butter, and salt.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; boil for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir in popcorn until well coated.  Spread out coated popcorn onto waxed paper and let cool.

Let's see what tasty treats are popping on the other blogs in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies this week!


  1. How good does that look? I have never had a popcorn ball, but i would think this is better, you can eat it easier.

  2. Mmm, looks like one yummy munchy crunchy treat perfect for snacking.

  3. We love popcorn treats at our house--this looks great!

  4. Fantastic - ds is dairy free so we exchanged the butter for dairy free spread and we didn't have any molasses but had some date syrup so we used that - very very yummy