I love baking and cooking during the holidays so I decided to post some of my favorites. I figure that if we all post one recipe, we could have a ton to chose from, so if you like to bake too, post a comment so I can check out your good eats.
ROCKY ROAD GOURMET POPCORN
When I was younger, my older sister used to work in a crafty consignment shop and would bring me this yummy rocky road gourmet popcorn. I LOVED it so much, but I have not been able to find it anywhere so I resorted to making it myself. After several tests, I think I got it right. Some of you will see it this holiday season, but act surprised when you get it. It is a little bit time consuming, but not too hard and definitely worth the effort. Call me if you have questions.
STEP ONE- The Cracker Jack Popcorn base (very tasty on it's own, thanks papa Fulks)
Pop 4 quarts of plain popcorn popped (approx 3/4 cup un-popped)
Place popcorn in paper bag
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cube Margarine
1/4 c Karo Syrup (light or dark will work, both are tasty so use what you have)
1/2 tsp Salt
Microwave the above ingredients on high in a microwave safe bowl for 1 min, stir, then cook til it boils. Boil for 2 min.
stir in 1 tsp Baking Soda (the sauce will change and thicken)
Pour over popcorn in the bag and stir. fold top of bag down several times then place back in microwave or 1 1/2 min. Pull out and shake several times. Place back in microwave for 1 min.
Pour straight onto a cookie sheet for toppings. If you are just making this cracker jack popcorn to eat, you must stir it until it cool so the kernels do not stick together. (this may sound a little hard, but after you do it, you see that it is so easy)
STEP TWO: TOPPINGS (all of these are approximations, you can add toppings to your own taste)
1/2 cup semi-sweet choc chips melted
1/2 cup white choc chips melted
melted caramels (or use caramel recipe that will follow, it makes a lot and is easier to work with)
1/4 bag mini Marshmallows
1/3 c semisweet choc chips
Spread out popcorn evenly on a cookie sheet then first, drizzle with caramel, be generous, it helps hold the popcorn together in pretty chunks.
sprinkle with mini marshmallows (use a lot they taste awesome in every bite you want this baby loaded)
drizzle with melted semi-sweet choc
drizzle with melted white choc
sprinkle semi-sweet choc ships
Layers may vary, and you can add nuts or pretzels if you like the sweet & salty flavor, the key is to load it so that you can break it into chunks to bag or place out on a plate.
STEP 3 LET IT DRY COMPLETELY
I know from experience the importance of this step, Now that it is nice and cold, I just set it outside for 5-10 min and you are good to go or you can let it sit out overnight. Once it is dry, I break it into chunks with my metal spatula and bag it.
I also use this recipe for caramel apples, and dipping pretzels.
1 lb brown sugar
1 C Karo Syrup
1 Cube butter
1 Can sweetened condensed milk
Hard Boil until hard ball phase (approx 5-10 min.) You must stir constantly. For those of you who have not done much candy, hard ball basically means that when y8ou drop a small amount into water it stays in a ball and doesn't just dissolve. It is important for the flavor to develop.