Gingerbread Caramel Corn Recipe
Nothing says the holidays like gingerbread and it takes on a whole new dimension when the flavors combine with caramel corn. This recipe is easy to make and makes a very large batch. Give it as gifts in decorative popcorn bags turned upside down like Christmas trees or serve it on the dessert table for your entire family to enjoy.
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup popcorn kernels
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups light brown sugar
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1) Preheat oven to 250ºF.
2) Place a large stock pot over medium heat and add the vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, add the popcorn and cover. Shake the pot occasionally while the popcorn is popping and remove from the heat once there is a second or two between pops. Let the pot cool until the popping stops. Divide the popcorn between two large bowls that have been coated with baking spray and set aside.
3) In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup, molasses, salt and spices. Stir continuously until the mixture comes to a boil. Let boil for 4 minutes without stirring. Stir in the baking soda and vanilla (the mixture will bubble up) and then immediately divide the mixture between the two bowls of popcorn.
4) Working quickly, stir with a rubber spatula to coat each kernel. Transfer the popcorn to two 1/2 sheet trays that have been covered with aluminum foil and coated with baking spray.
5) Bake the caramel corn for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
6) Remove the caramel corn from the oven and let cool before breaking into pieces.
Tips for Success
- If the caramel cools before you are able to thoroughly coat your popcorn, place your bowl in the oven for a bit. This will warm the mixture enough for you to buy a little extra time.
- Use separate or freshly cleaned utensils during each step of the caramel mixing process: One for the initial stir, one to mix in the baking soda and vanilla and one for coating the popcorn.This will help ensure that your caramel corn stays glossy and doesn't become gritty and crystallized
- Caramel clean up can be a sticky job. To clean your caramel coated sauce pan, fill 1/3 of the way with water, bring to a boil and then cover and let simmer for 10 minutes. The steam will clean the inside of the pot!