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Archive for October, 2012

It all started with “Fun Night.”  It was the biggest night of the year at Vandalia Elementary school, and it was magical.  My sister and I looked forward to it all year.  Forget trick-or-treating, the highlight of Halloween was Fun Night!  The drama, the intrigue, the suspense!  It was an evening affair, and for kids who spent the other 364 nights at home, it was quite exotic to be out at night.  The biggest draw of the carnival, and my favorite, was the Cake Walk.  Is there a better prize than a homemade cake?  I don’t think so!  So, now you know why I love Halloween. Here is my treat for you – a very easy, delicious caramel corn recipe.  No oven time required for this.

What’s your favorite Halloween memory?

Happy Halloween!

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Caramel Corn Clusters   adapted from Gourmet magazine

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 11/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup salted peanuts (5 oz)

Heat oil with 3 kernels in a 3-quart heavy saucepan, covered, over moderate heat until 1 or 2 kernels pop. Remove lid and quickly add remaining kernels, then cook, covered, shaking pan frequently, until kernels stop popping, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and uncover.

Line bottom of a large shallow baking pan with foil. Lightly oil foil. Melt butter in a 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat. Add brown sugar and corn syrup and bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring, then boil, without stirring, until syrup registers 285°F on thermometer, approx. 8 minutes. Remove pot from heat.

Using a wooden spoon or a heatproof spatula, stir salt and baking soda into syrup, then quickly stir in peanuts and popcorn to coat. Immediately spread mixture in baking pan as thinly and evenly as possible. Cool completely, then break into bite-size pieces.

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