Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Maple pecan popcorn
It's high maple season in our region. The sap is running and all the maple producers are boiling! Every year throughout NY state, we have Maple Weekend celebrations. Last weekend was the first one for this year, and this coming weekend is the second one. We don't use fake maple (or pancake) syrup around here -- we use the good stuff from maple trees! I love to use maple syrup on pancakes and waffles, of course, but I also like to use it in recipes. Whenever you are going to cook or bake with maple syrup, you want to get the darkest color you can get because that will have the most maple flavor. This season I decided to make some caramel corn using maple syrup instead of corn syrup/brown sugar/honey. I adapted this recipe from King Arthur Flour. I am glad that we were able to taste the maple flavor in this recipe and it made the whole house smell amazing while it was baking. This popcorn is a super delicious treat - perfect to take to snack on while visiting some maple farms, to eat while watching a movie or playing games, or bring to a party. It's sure to be a hit!
Maple pecan popcorn
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
1 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup real maple syrup (the darkest you can find)
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Using an air popper, pop the popcorn kernels into the largest bowl you have. Stir in the pecans and set aside.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
In a large pot, heat the butter, syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon salt over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Let the mixture come to a low boil. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reads 230 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat. Stir in the baking soda (be careful as it will bubble up).
Pour the caramel onto the popcorn and pecan mixture. Stir well to coat. Spread onto the two baking sheets. Sprinkle with a little more salt.
Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
Let cool. Break apart any large pieces as needed. Store in an airtight container.
What was I cooking one year ago?: chicken fried chicken w/ milk gravy
Two years ago?: chocolate cream pie
Three years ago?: quick pickled red onions
Four?: warm beets w/ horseradish & dill sour cream
Five?: baked shrimp w/ tomatoes & feta
Six?: tarragon chicken
7?: peanut butter banana pancakes