Old Fashioned Molasses "caramel" Corn
Back in the day, down South, cooks didn't have corn syrup on their shelves, they had sorghum molasses as it was cheaply and locally produced. It's an old fashioned taste I love and candy made w/ molasses is far more flavorful than candy made w/ corn syrup. My Granny cooked her candy till 'hard crack' on the stovetop and poured it over the corn, but doing it that way takes a lot more babysitting and using this method you won't burn or undercook it because it hardens in the oven.
- Ready In:
- 1hr 15mins
- 6 quarts popped popcorn (for me it was 1 cup, unpopped)
- 3⁄4 cup butter
- 3⁄4 cup molasses
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup Spanish peanut (optional)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pre-heat oven to 250 deg.
- Place butter in a medium pot, on medium heat.
- While the butter's melting, pop the corn and put it in a large roasting pan. I used a disposable aluminum pan and a hot air popper (you won't need to butter the pan).
- Keep an eye on the butter and add the sugar, molasses, and salt to it as soon as its melted.
- Bring the candy to a boil and stir and cook it only till the sugar melts and the butter blends in entirely - just a couple minutes.
- Turn off the heat and stir the vanilla and peanuts into the candy.
- Quickly add the baking soda and stir untill it's well mixed. It foams to make a lighter, more delicate candy.
- Pour the candy over the popcorn and toss untill it's evenly coated.
- Put the popcorn in the oven for 1 hour, tossing every 15 or 20 minutes.
- Let it cool completely before breaking up and putting into an airtight container.
- I developed this recipe by hacking others because I couldn't find another to suit me. I made this for Christmas treats and it was INHALED, you'll find it tastes like Cracker Jack; that candy is made with molasses, not corn syrup, I got a box yersterday to compare.
- You can easily double this, but double the baking time too.
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I made this last night and it came out terrible. It is all "grainy" so I think it is because the sugar was not totally dissolved. Without using a candy thermometer, how does one tell? I was stirring to keep from burning it. I want to try it again, but need the technique to be able to tell when it is ready for the vanilla. If it is a bit too strong in the molasses flavor, is it possible to substitute corn syrup for half of the molasses? Thanks!