This recipe is a much more interesting and insanely more delicious twist on the caramel corn found in one third section of those tins. I can imagine these in clear cellophane bags tied with gorgeous ribbons finished off with homemade gift tags or in metallic tins lined with festive tissue paper. This is a thoughtful and satisfying take on a somewhat common and unoriginal holiday gift.
Adapted from Cooking Light December 2009
Yield: 12 servings (serving size: about 1 1/2 ounces)
- Cooking spray
- 5 1/2 cups popcorn, popped without salt or fat (this is about one large bag of microwaveable popcorn)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 6 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Line a baking sheet with foil; coat foil with cooking spray. Alternately, line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
Place popcorn in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal. Crush popcorn using a meat mallet or rolling pin; set aside.
Combine sugar, syrup, and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Cook 1 minute or until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Cook, without stirring, until candy thermometer registers 270° (about 8 minutes). Stir in molasses
and butter (sugar mixture will bubble up and gurgle);
cook until thermometer registers 290° (about 5 minutes).
Stir in baking soda, vanilla, and salt.
Stir popcorn into boiling syrup mixture.
Working quickly, pour popcorn mixture onto prepared pan; spread to 1/4-inch thickness using a wooden spoon coated with cooking spray (make sure to head this warning - you will not be able to spread the mixture if you don't coat the spoon with cooking spray).
Cool completely; break into large pieces.
Note: Store brittle in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days.