This weekend was full of fun adventures and I’m so excited to tell you about my favorite part: The San Diego Food Bloggers Bake Sale! It was so awesome to meet such amazing food bloggers from our community and I can’t wait to hang out with all of them again.
We collectively raised ~$1,700 for Share Our Strength and had tons of fun in the process!
Friday morning started off our weekend with a bang as we headed to the San Diego 6 studios to film a segment with some other fellow SD food bloggers about the Bake Sale. We were really nervous, but it was so much fun!
After our brush with fame we started making caramel corn for the bake sale on Saturday.
We made 3 kinds: Cinnamon, Cayenne and the hot ticket item was of course the Peanut Chocolate Chip.
Our friend Heidi came along and baked some gourmet (and very pretty) Chocolate Almond Biscotti.
On Saturday we came home from the bake sale and……
Baked! Yep, more baking.
The menu: Chocolate Chip Cookies, Salted Caramel Brownies, Reese’s Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies, Snickering Snickerdoodles, Nutella Rice Krispy Treats, and of course Caramel Corn.
I was so proud of our Little Yellow Kitchen. We put it to some serious tests this weekend and it really held it’s own!
Note to self: Get
more A LOT more counter space in next home.
Caramel Corn is an easy and delicious snack. I had always thought the process involved a thousand steps and would be insanely complicated but Chrissy brought me back to reality with a recipe that was so easy my Dad could do it (sorry Dad).
I’ll be honest and tell you our first try at this wasn’t so easy because of the quantity of popcorn we needed to make. A smaller amount would be quite simple though.
The sauce is mainly a mixture of butter and sugar. How could you say no to that?
Let it boil, and boil, and boil.
I know it looks tasty but don’t touch it! Chrissy had a little hot caramel splatter incident and is now suffering from a severe burn. It wasn’t a good week for us, injury wise, in the LYK.
Add baking soda and it will get creamy and fluff up.
Pour over the popcorn in a bag, shake it up and voila!
Ok, ok. Maybe it doesn’t come out of the paper bag in perfectly portioned little baggies tied off with cute ribbon, but you get the picture.
Homemade Caramel Corn
Makes 5 quarts of popcorn
5 quarts popped popcorn (air popped, if possible, unsalted and unbuttered)
1 stick of butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1 Tbsp molasses
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
Peanut Chocolate Chip Caramel Corn:
1 cup unsalted peanuts
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (to be added once the caramel corn is cooled)
Cinnamon Caramel Corn:
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Cayenne Caramel Corn:
1/2 – 1 tsp cayenne pepper (however spicy you want it)
Combine butter, brown sugar, dark corn syrup, molasses, salt in a sauce-pan, preferably a dutch oven or thick-bottomed pot for even heat distribution. Place a candy thermometer in the pot and stir ingredients until they begin boiling. When the mixture reaches 250 degrees F, remove from heat and add the vanilla and the baking soda and stir well. **This is when you would add in either the cinnamon or the cayenne pepper to flavor the caramel corn. The mixture will foam up a little and turn a lighter color (don’t be alarmed, this is suppose to happen).
Place the popped plain popcorn into a large brown paper bag. **If you are adding peanuts, put them into the bag here. Drizzle the hot caramel sauce mixture on top of the popcorn in the bag, fold the bag over and shake, shake, shake! You may need to break down large clumps, and keep shaking, until popcorn has a fairly even coating of caramel. Pour the caramel corn out onto a wax papered baking sheet or a Silpat and spread flat to allow it to cool.
If the bag shaking doesn’t allow an even coat, put the baking sheets in the oven at 225 degrees F, for 8-10 minutes. This allows the caramel to be pliable enough to stir with a spatula to more evenly distribute the sauce.
From the Little Yellow Kitchen,