Fun with Popcorn

October 29, 2013 

If you are looking for some quick snack ideas, maybe for a party or even just for some nibbling while you watch movies at home, then consider some tasty recipes that feature popcorn. Such a simple treat, but so appreciated. I will share my favorite recipe for baked caramel corn, even though it isn't a secret by any means, and can be found in many recipe collections by now. Fall is here and if you are anything like me, you love settling in for a cozy movie night, with a fire in the wood stove, a favorite blankie or afghan and some sweet or salty (or both) popcorn!

Soft caramel corn

  • 3 packages (3.5 ounce) microwave popcorn, popped
  • 2 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 can (5-oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  1. Place the popcorn in a large bowl. Shake and toss the bowl to make the unpopped kernels go to the bottom; discard.
  2. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the brown sugar, corn syrup and butter, stirring constantly. Heat to 270 to 290 degrees, or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms hard but pliable threads. Remove from the heat, and carefully pour in the can of condensed milk; stir until smooth.
  3. Pour 1/4 of the caramel at a time over the popcorn, stirring until all of the popcorn is covered. Cool at least 10 minutes before serving. Makes about 10 quarts.

Cat's favorite caramel corn

  • 13 cups popped corn, unpopped kernels removed
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Preheat oven to 200. In a medium saucepan, heat sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt, stirring occasionally, until bubbly around edges. Continue cooking over medium heat 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda until foamy. Pour mixture over popped corn, stir until well coated.
  3. Spread on jelly-roll pan (or baking pan with low sides). Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool, then break apart any clumps.

Popcorn chocolate chip marshmallow snacks

  • 1 bag (about 3.3-oz.) microwave popcorn, popped
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 6 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 cup miniature chocolate chips
  1. Coat a 9-by-9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Sift through the popped popcorn to make sure all the un-popped kernels are removed.
  2. Place butter in a very large microwave bowl. Microwave for about 30 to 45 seconds until melted.
  3. Add marshmallows to the butter bowl. Stir to coat with the butter. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes, stirring after 45 seconds. Stir to make sure the marshmallows are totally melted. Add popcorn and stir carefully. Stir in chocolate chips and immediately add to baking dish.
  4. Spray your hands with cooking spray. Press the popcorn mixture into the pan, compacting it as much as possible. Let cool completely before slicing. (Can refrigerate them to speed up this process.)

Cajun corn

This is a recipe that calls for adding the seasonings before popping the corn. Be sure to shake the pot pretty often.

  • 1/8 teaspoon each
  • paprika
  • garlic powder
  • cayenne pepper
  • dried oregano
  • dried thyme
  • dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon each:
  • smoked paprika
  • onion powder
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/3 cup white popcorn kernels
  1. Mix together Cajun seasoning ingredients (paprika through salt) in small bowl.
  2. Heat oil in medium pot on medium to medium-high heat.
  3. Add popcorn kernels and stir until covered with oil. Stir in seasoning. Cover with lid and without removing from heat, shake pot occasionally.
  4. Pop corn until popping slows to near stop. Remove from heat immediately and serve. Makes 2 servings.

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