Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Crabtree Crunch

Everyday after school, the boys come in through the door with, "MOM, WE'RE STARRVVINNGGG!" To which I reply, "Really?? Lunch was just 3 hours ago." If they are lucky, I make one of their favorite snacks from Martha Stewart, Crunchy Caramel Corn (they've renamed it Crunchy Crabby Corn after our family last name, Crabtree.) During the holidays, we package it for friends & family with cute "Christmas Crabtree Crunch" labels (which include custom Christmas crab designs by our boys of course). We have tried several versions of this basic recipe, adding cinnamon, pecans, m&m's, and whatever else looks good from the pantry. Enjoy!

Crunchy Caramel Corn
Martha Stewart
4 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking sheet
10 cups plain unsalted popped (from 1/2 cup kernels or a 3.3-ounce bag microwave popcorn) popcorn
1 cup cashews, coarsely chopped (optional)
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
Coarse salt
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter a large rimmed baking sheet; set aside. Place popcorn in a large bowl; if using cashews, add to bowl and toss to combine. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, bring butter, sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons water to a boil, stirring constantly. Working quickly, drizzle popcorn with sugar syrup, and toss.
Spread popcorn evenly on prepared baking sheet. Bake, tossing occasionally, until golden and shiny, about 40 minutes. Transfer hot popcorn to parchment-paper-lined baking sheet; let cool. Store in airtight container up to 1 week.
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