Today we experimented a bit with popcorn. Last week the kids asked if I could make kettle corn, so we looked up a recipe on google. So today I wondered if we could do the same thing to make caramel corn. It worked!
Cast of Characters:
1/2 cup popcorn, 1/4 cup of oil, 1/4 cup sugar (brown for caramel corn, white for kettle corn)
Have a cookie sheet lined with wax paper ready before you start popping.
Pretty much follow the first step of yesterday. Put 3 kernels in the pot with the oil. Place lid and wait for kernels to pop. Ta-da! Oil is ready.
NOW add your kernels and sugar (brown shows up better on camera).
With sugar in the popcorn it's very important to keep the pot moving almost constantly. Not too much or it will take longer to pop, but often enough to keep the sugar from burning. I use a towel to help hold the lid down so I can shake it. Don't shake it too hard. There is oil in the pan. I wouldn't want anyone burning down their kitchens.
Pour it out onto the cookie sheet and please...don't use your fingers to "help" the popcorn out of the pan. Hot melted sugar burns. Really badly. And it leaves blisters. Salt the popcorn while it's still warm.
This method makes the popcorn perfectly crispy with just the right amount of sweet. You can use as much as 1/2 a cup of sugar, but we are going for less sugar these days.
This is the kettle corn. It's lighter in color. Some of the sugar caramelizes and it tastes delicious.
Both are the perfect blend of salty and sweet. And honestly, there isn't that much difference in taste between them.