Thursday, September 13, 2012

Caramel Pecan Popcorn

Oh my.  Crunchy sweet caramel popcorn must be one of the best treats in the whole world!   

This recipe is one from one of my Pampered Chef cookbooks.  I've been making this for years, and we enjoy changing it up a little bit now and then!!

The original recipe, posted below, calls for Chex cereal, pretzels, pecans, and popcorn.  When I make it I typically omit the Chex, and add additional popcorn and pretzels.  I've made it with peanuts or cashews instead of pecans.  I've added Cheerios and other cereals instead of Chex.  I've added M&Ms or chocolate chips to the popcorn after it's cooled.

This time I added Autumn Mix Candy Corn!

I've made this treat for the Desserts For The Deserving campaign, whose purpose is to bring a little bit of joy and encouragement to others......with sweet treats!  

This cute bag of Caramel Pecan Popcorn is on it's way to West Yellowstone, Montana!

Caramel Pecan Popcorn

8 cups popped popcorn (one regular sized bag of microwave popcorn is about 8 cups.  Reduced fat works best.)
4 cups rice chex cereal
2 cups pretzel twists
1 cup pecan halves

1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup butter
¼ cup corn syrup

1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. baking soda

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.  On the stove top stir together brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil.  Lower heat to medium-low and cook 5 minutes without stirring.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in vanilla and baking soda.  Pour over dry ingredients and stir gently to coat.  Pour into your 9 x 13 stoneware baker (or onto a large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan).  Bake at 275 for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through baking time.  Remove from the oven and pour onto a long sheet or parchment paper or waxed paper to cool. Gently break into smaller pieces and store in an airtight container.

*If you would like to adapt the recipe and switch around the ingredients, just measure cup-for-cup.  In other words, substitute a cup of additional popcorn for a cup of Chex, etc.  If adding candy corn or other candy tidbits, allow caramel corn to cool completely first.*

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