White-Chocolate Caramel Corn with Cashews

I don’t know what it is about making candy, but I love it.  What I don’t love is having too much of it around the house, which is why I always use these kinds of treats as gifts.  (Though sometimes I do feel a bit guilty about giving away junk food.  Cause that’s what this recipe is – straight up junk food.)  But DANG it’s good!

As I’ve said before, this year I’m determined to make all of my gifts myself and this is one of them.  I plan to package this popcorn up in some mason jars and give it to several of the men in my life.  Cause men are a pain in the ass to shop for, but we know they love to eat…

If you don’t yet have a candy thermometer, get one!  You won’t regret it.  Plus, you can’t make this recipe without one.

Also, make sure you read through the recipe at least once (as you should with every recipe), especially if you’ve never made caramel. The key is to leave it alone – DO NOT STIR!

Get yo stuff together!

Isn’t it crazy that a half cup of popcorn kernels makes twelve cups of popped corn?!?!

White-Chocolate Caramel Corn with Cashews
from Martha Stewart Living Magazine, October 2012

Ingredients:

12 cups popped popcorn (from 1/2 cup kernels)
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped cashews
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
5 ounces white chocolate, chopped

Method:

Preheat oven to 250°. Place popcorn and nuts in a large bowl. Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir in corn syrup, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook until sugar dissolves, stirring once or twice. Raise heat to high, and bring to a boil (do not stir). Boil without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 248°, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in baking soda.

Pour caramel over popcorn mixture, stirring to coal thoroughly. Transfer to 2 rimmed baking sheets, spreading in a single layer. Bake 45 minutes, stirring twice. Test if it’s done by removing a few pieces of popcorn from the oven; if they crisp within 1 minute, popcorn is ready. Remove from oven, and immediately sprinkle with remaining salt. Let cool completely.

Place chocolate in heatproof bowl and set over a pan of boiling water. Stir until melted and completely smooth. Fill a small resealable plastic bag with chocolate, and snip a tiny hole in 1 corner. Drizzle chocolate over caramel corn.

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