Well, my kids are no longer “vacation-bored,” but they still complain there’s nothing interesting to do at home. Apparently, we should eliminate weekends. So we decided to have a “rewarding experience” with a fun “session in the kitchen” — mid-century recipe testing!


And it messed up, so we’re running really late posting, but it’s still Guest Test Sunday.

Popcorn Caramel Roll – Mid-Century Recipe Guest Test Sunday
Author: Detroit News
POPCORN CARAMEL ROLL is more of a sweet snack than a cookie and requires more procedure than the others, but with mother’s supervision, it is simple to make. The inner ring is butterscotch and chocolate fondant, flavor-accented with dry toasted peanuts, while the outer ring is tender, popped corn meshed with vanilla caramels.
  • 1 foil package ready-to-pop corn
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch pieces
  • 1 cup ground dry toasted peanuts
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 pound vanilla caramels
  1. Pop corn according to package directions. Set aside.
  2. Mix sugar, milk and syrup together. Heat, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved. Bring to boil and cook, continuing to stir, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and butterscotch pieces, and stir until candy melts. Stir in nuts. Cool. Then shape into roll and chill in refrigerator.
  3. Add water to caramels and melt over hot water. When melted, cool to almost lukewarm. Add to popped corn and mix well.
  4. Place candy roll in center of popped corn-caramel mixture. Shape corn around candy roll so it is completely covered. Let stand for about an hour. Cut into 1/4 inch slices. Makes about 30 slices.



This looks pretty easy, and pretty tasty.


It’s not easy to find foil package popcorn. However, it’s easy to put popcorn in a pot with some oil and make it the “old fashioned” way. (It’s easier to put it in a plain paper bag in the microwave — but I figured we’re doing mid-century, not 70’s, so I should use appropriate tools…)


Mixed cream evaporated milk, corn syrup, sugar, and butter together, cooked, and then added all the additional flavoring bits. We had to leave it to cool for a while…


And at this point the recipe totally fails. The “candy roll” never solidified to the point that it could be rolled into anything; after twenty-four hours in the fridge, it’s still dribbling off a spoon.

We decided to sorta-kinda finish it, though. What sort of mid-century recipe tester just clutches her pearls and weeps when something fails? Not me. I started it Saturday morning, I’ll finish something Sunday morning, even if it’s just a goopy mess.


I made the caramel popcorn, shaped it into a rectangle, and poured chocolate butterscotch candy stuff all over the top.


“This was supposed to be a roll, huh?”

“It didn’t exactly work. Obviously. Take a bite!”


After a sticky, drippy bite, he decided it was good.

Verdict: Yummy candy, very sticky.

The tasting and cooking notes:

The candy-making process was the failure point. I know it boiled and kept boiling for 3 minutes, but that didn’t bring about whatever phase change is needed to change sweet stuff from mostly-liquid to mostly-solid. Even with “mother’s supervision,” this seems quite challenging for a kid’s cookie session.

The flavors worked well. Butterscotch, chocolate, peanuts, and caramel were all evident flavors and played well together — it would be nice to revisit this some day and see if I can get it working.

And one final note: Here’s wishing all mothers a Happy Mother’s Day!