If you were a reasonable person, you would look away right now and not read any further. There’s a warning here and it’s not to be taken lightly. This super delicious concoction of popcorn, roasted almonds, pretzels, marshmallows and salty caramel is insanely addictive. If you have willpower, let this be the test.
I saw these popcorn bites on Tracy’s site and I wanted them immediately. Instead, I waited until I knew I was having a group of friends over who would be more than happy to take these off my hands and help spread the guilt joy. And there was lots of joy to be had!
While I had hoped that these would have been a cinch to make, they were a bit troublesome. Mainly because I just couldn’t get my caramel caramelized. I’ve made caramel scores of time, but this time, I couldn’t get it to turn a lovely golden shade. In fact, I waited so long for the amber colour that the whole mess went and crystalized on me. However, I was able to turn it around by adding a bit more cream (oh the guilt) and a lot of stirring. So instead of a deeply hued toffee colour, it was a light shade of beige. Who said beige is boring? Not here. Also, I wasn’t able to really cut these into bars – it was more like chunks…really, really delicious chunks. I think that was my fault because instead of just 12 cups of popcorn, I probably made 14 cups or so to help cut down the sweetness some. No one cared. Even with my crazy screw ups, these were still crazy delicious.
elsewhere: Looking for something a bit more tame – but still really tasty? Over at Poppytalk I posted a recipe for an easy, delicious and perfect for Thanksgiving morning kind of quick bread: introducing Cranberry Citrus Walnut Loaf. Yummy. It’s all kinds of awesome and it only has 2 teaspoons of fat and uses whole wheat flour. Yup. So good.
salted caramel almond pretzel popcorn
(adapted from Shutterbean)
I’ve made this again recently (Oct 2012) & the recipe turned out wonderfully. I was able to get the caramel golden brown with high heat & patience. Once it’s golden, add in the cream and stir well before adding in the marshmallows. Pour the caramel quickly over the mixture and work very quickly as the caramel is super sticky. Press firmly into a buttered dish & voila, I was able to get squares! Good luck :)
12 – 14 c plain popped popcorn
3 c coarsely chopped small salted pretzels
1.5 c toasted almonds, roughly chopped
2 c sugar
2/3 c heavy cream
2 c miniature marshmallows
Butter a 9×13″ pan and set aside. In your largest bowl possible, dump in the popcorn, pretzels and almonds and toss so that everything is evenly mixed.
In a large saucepan, melt the sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a half cup of water and bring to a boil. Boil until the mixture turns into a golden caramel shade – about 8-12 minutes. Remove from heat and pour in the heavy cream – watch out, mixture will splurt! Add marshmallows and stir until melted.
Pour caramel over popcorn and use a wooden spoon to mix everything together – work quickly because the caramel firms up quick and then you’ll have to use all your arm strength to pry all the tasty bits away from the bowl. Maybe next time I’ll try buttering down the bowl. If you try it, let me know if it works out. Dump the mixture into the prepared pan and press down on using slightly damp hands (helps to prevent stickiness), so that popcorn mixture is completely pressed into pan. Sprinkle with flakey kosher salt and let cool. Cut into bars or break mixture into delicious clumps. Otherwise, just enjoy the sweet, sweet crumbles and watch yourself turn into drooling, blubbering Homer Simpson. Look away because it isn’t pretty.