Saturday, June 25, 2011

Vanilla Bean Toffee Popcorn

 My neighbor made this the other day and I'm crazy for it! I asked for the recipe and added my own twist (vanilla bean). Right after I took these photos, I brought the popcorn to a friend's party. Someone said it was like "being kissed by heaven." This is SERIOUSLY good stuff. Here is a step-by-step guide. Super easy. I'm loving how you can see the cute little specks of vanilla (but, if you don't have a vanilla bean handy, extract will do just fine)!

8 cups of popped popcorn (2 microwave bags of popcorn are perfect)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or one vanilla bean scraped if you've got it)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 300F
Place 8 cups of popcorn in a large deep bowl. (I used Orville Redenbacher's Buttered Popcorn) Make sure that no unpopped kernels fall into the bowl!

Split one vanilla bean (lengthwise) and scrap out the vanilla caviar with your knife. Add the vanilla caviar to the brown sugar and mix it in with your fingers, to break-up the clumps of vanilla.

Cook over a medium heat while stirring:
1 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of light corn syrup in a pot over medium heat.
* Hold the baking soda until later...
Bring the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup to a boil. Keep stirring!

Now, let it sit for 5 minutes WITHOUT stirring. It will begin to look like this...

Remove from the heat and add your 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. This is when the magic happens!
Stir until you get this creamy looking color.

Now pour that heavenly stuff onto your popcorn. Stir until the popcorn is evenly coated.

Place the popcorn on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or wax paper. Bake for 30 minutes at 300F.
After 30 minutes, take it out of the oven and place it on a windowsill or someplace where it can cool off.
The toffee should harden in 5-10 minutes.
Once it has cooled off, break the popcorn into bite-size pieces and enjoy!

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