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.
- 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
- Pop corn according to package directions. Set aside.
- 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.
- Add water to caramels and melt over hot water. When melted, cool to almost lukewarm. Add to popped corn and mix well.
- 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…)
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!