Grown Up Caramel Corn

A few folks got edible gifts from me this year. Everybody always says they have too much “stuff” so I was hoping they would enjoy a treat that would be gone and they wouldn’t be trying to find a spot for it in their house.

I spotted a caramel corn online and thought it sounded really good and I thought it sounded like a snack with some class. This one featured crazins, orange, and pecans. I improvised a bit. I was impressed with the outcome! I didn’t quite envision the popcorn to come out crunchy without being sticky and soggy but it did!

Cranberry Pecan Caramel Corn (adapted from The Novice Chef)

Ingredients:

2 cups popped popcorn
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
3 tbs jelly (I used apple)
1 teaspoon vanilla1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat.
In a large bowl mix the popped popcorn, cranberries, and pecans.

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Over medium heat stir the butter, brown sugar, and honey until butter melts. Stir in jelly. Bring to boiling over medium heat. Boil at a moderate, steady rate for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and baking soda (mixture will foam up).
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Pour the syrup mixture over the popcorn mixture in bowl; stir to coat well.
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Transfer to a large baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
Remove from the oven and let it cool. If you want clusters leave it; if you want bite sized pieces then spread it out to cool.
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Dressed Up Cashews

I made some dressed up cashews last summer but didn’t blog ‘em. They were gone really quickly and I knew I had to make them again. I added them to my fall list and made some to bring to one of my Thanksgivings.

They’re sweet and salty and the rosemary makes it woodsy.
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Ingredients

1 pound cashews
3 tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
⅓ cup butter, melted
1 tsp kosher salt

Directions

Roast cashews for about 3 minutes until nuts have warmed through at 375 degrees.
Mix chopped rosemary with melted butter and add salt.
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Stir until well coated and return to oven for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally (not 10 minutes like I did).
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They were a bit stickier than last time but very tasty. I cooked them on my Silpat which I adore. Even with this sticky rosemary mixture baked the cleanup takes 2 seconds. Nice, right? I could be their spokesperson (and I’m willing to…sign me up!!)
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Make these and watch the disappearing act.

Apple Something

I didn’t quite make apple crisp as promised on my fall list. My apples were on their way out when I got to it so I went with apple sauce rather than crisp.
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It’s sweet, tangy, and everything I wanted. Plus, it meant I didn’t lose any apples I picked myself!

Ingredients:

6 apples mostly pealed (peel gives some color)
½ cup water
½ cup apple cider
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ cup brown sugar

Directions:

Roughly peel and chop apples.
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Drop them into a pot with water, cider, lemon juice and brown sugar.
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Cook low and slow, stirring occasionally until cooked down.
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I probably cooked mine for 30 minutes. You could definitely puree the apples if you don’t want any chunks. Apple sauce is just like peanut butter, the more chunks the better for me. I thought adding some vanilla would be good. If I’d had some vanilla ice cream I probably would have tried some warmed up as an ice cream topping. Seriously, the brown sugar makes it that good.

What a good jar gift! I keep seeing cookie kits on Pinterest (where else?) but a lot of my loved ones will be getting some sort of edible gift this year. (shhh!) The applesauce will be long gone by then. Since I’m no baker, I wouldn’t prep a jar filled with cookie ingredients no matter how cute it looks since that’s not really me. Maybe somebody in your life would like some homemade applesauce?! I have a few ideas for goodies but I won’t be sharing those until the gift-giving has commenced! Just 19 more days!!