Almond-Cashew Caramel Corn

June 14, 2010

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When I was little, my dad and I would buy a tin of Poppycock and sit together and eat the whole tin in one sitting.   I am not proud of this indulgence nor the fact that I have a few cavities to prove it, but the memory of my dad and I sharing something so special and indulgent is a memory I carry around with me. My dad loved food.  Most of my favorite memories of my dad are the ones that center around a special bakery, the perfect hamburger, the creamiest milk shake and the best fried zucchini circles.  Just to name a few.

This week is last week of school.  I am in awe at how quickly the year flew by.  Time just goes so fast and I am trying really, really hard to be in the moment, cherish the little moments and embrace all that I have.  As each of my kids grow older and move on to new experiences, my list just grows and grows on who I want to thank and appreciate for a wonderful year.  This year the list is especially long as I have three kids in three different schools.  As much as I tell myself, “next year, I am going to buy them something” I just can’t help myself to make and create, give from the heart and hopefully convey my gratitude for taking care of my kids all year.

This caramel corn is the first of many creations.  I am also making a milk chocolate cookie, Cherry crumb bars, blueberry crumb cake, blueberry pound cake, triple chocolate triangles, and a banana nut loaf.

I have adapted this recipe and it is almost as good as the caramel corn I grew up eating.


Almond-Cashew Caramel Corn
makes approximately 8 cups

1/2 cup popcorn kernels, freshly popped
2 cup whole almonds
1 cup whole cashews
2 cups brown sugar
6 Tbls. unsalted butter
3 oz. brown rice syrup
3 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
3/4 tsp. salt
3/8 tsp. baking soda

• preheat oven to 250*.  butter or spray 2 baking pans.  mix warm popcorn and nuts in prepared pans.  place in the oven until caramel sauce is ready.
• combine brown sugar, butter, + corn syrup in heavy medium saucepan.  whisk over medium low heat until sugar dissolves and butter melts.  attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and increase the heat to high and boil without stirring until 255*.  remove from heat.
• stir in vanilla extract, almond extract, salt + baking soda (the mixture will bubble, so stand back).  gradually pour the caramel over the popcorn and nuts, stirring.  try to coat all the popcorn.
• bake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes.  I like to bake it in 20 minutes increments, stir a little, rotate the pan and then bake 20, etc.  cool completely.
• be careful, this is addicting.