I wasn’t too thrilled with the recipes this week, but when I saw this Sweet and Spicy Kettlecorn, I knew I had what I wanted.
Last summer our family went to Hersheypark in Hershey, PA. Right inside the gates of the park there is a little shop with the BEST aroma. (I’m not too crazy about chocolate, so this aroma appealed to me more than it would to most people, maybe.) There are guys out in front of the shop who are making old-fashioned kettlecorn in big kettles. They bag it up in enormous bags and sell it for a mere pittance. Seriously, this stuff is cheap. I can’t tell you how much of it I ate, but I didn’t share and the bag was gone by the next day.
Secondly, this recipe was so easy and fast I figured I could do it even with my limited time.
I popped my popcorn, being careful not to burn it like I usually do, and started cooking the sugar. This makes me a bit nervous because I don’t want to destroy my non-stick pan by burning it, but it liquified nicely and turned the light brown that the recipe described. It looked like caramel that was melted. I wonder if that’s how they make caramel? /ponder.
Anyway, I removed it from the heat and put in the butter. I think this is where the problem started. The cold butter made the caramel syrup start to set up. I had my popcorn in a bowl already, so I mixed up the caramel/butter and quickly poured it over the popcorn before it could cool any more.
The caramel did not spread out nicely over the popcorn. It stubbornly stayed right where I poured it, despite massive amounts of shaking. I put the spices over it and they wanted to cling to the hot caramel and nothing else. I dumped the whole mess onto a cookie sheet and took this picture before sampling the kettlecorn.
The pieces of popcorn with the caramel were really, really yummy. The spice was a bit much. In fact, if I’d make this again, I’d completely omit it. The rest of the popcorn tasted like…well…popcorn. No yummy caramel and very little spice mix. I’m a little disappointed at how this turned out, but it isn’t stopping me and the kids from scarfing it down. 🙂