Sunday, August 05, 2007

Sweet Cheat Popcorn

sweet cheat popcorn I've been trying to make a kettle-corn style popcorn and an easy caramel type popcorn for ages. By "easy" I mean-- one pot, no separate caramel making, no additional baking, with butter and salt being optional. Easy, you know?

Every time I just tried adding a little (1/4 cup or less) brown sugar to the heating kernels (stove top popcorn prep), I'd end up with hard granules attached to the corn. Not quite what I was looking for. Not to mention a little hard on my teeth.

I think I finally did it though. It was a total fluke. While the kernels were heating up (again, stove top prep, kernels cooking in a little oil) I added some brown sugar, like usual. Only this time, instead of just stirring and hoping for the best, I also added a little water.

This made all the difference! The water dissolved the sugar (have to stir this mixture until the kernels start popping, then continue cooking with the cover on, keeping the pot moving), and the whole works boiled and became a syrupy consistency by the time the kernels started to pop. The syrupy mixture cooked onto the newly popped kernels and finally I had easy stove top sweet popcorn! Yum!
sweet cheat popcorn
Of course, this probably isn't a secret, and many of you out there, likely already knew this. Silly me though for never thinking of it 'till recently. (I worried that adding water to popcorn makes mush; it probably does if the kernels have popped, but not while they're still kernels.)

So, this adds to the many ways you can make popcorn. To this sweet mixture I've drizzled butter on top and added salt. Very tasty! But probably best as an occasional treat.

The best thing is, made this way, it's tasty as-is, which is exactly what I wanted. A little sweet, without the added butter or extra steps trying to make caramel or having to bake it. Still have to be extra careful of the unpopped kernels. Now they'll likely stick to the popped ones. Eat carefully!


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7:04 AM  
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6:27 AM  
Blogger Ada said...

Wonderful recipe, I love caramel popcorn with nuts, I just might try your recipe and add peanuts, yum!

8:48 PM  
Blogger Kendra said...

I have a stove top popcorn hand crank popper.Here's my favorite recipe for kettle corn:

1/2 c. unpopped pop corn
1/4 c. white sugar
1/4 c. canola oil

Heat oil in popper on med-high heat. (I put two kernels in with the cold oil and when they pop I know the oil is hot.)
When oil is hot att popcorn. Stir a few times then add the sugar. Keep stirring constantly until popcorn in popped. Dump on a large piece of foil or cookie sheet and salt imediately. Let cool and enjoy! For a variation, I like to add a capful of coconut extract.

Hope you enjoy this!

6:21 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Can you clairfy the recipe a little? I tried this, as it sounds like exactly what I have been looking for too, but I ended up with a burnt mess!!!

Should the popcorn take a LOT longer to start popping?? I think this was my error... I had it on med heat, but my popcorn wasn't popping, so I turned it up. The popcorn started to pop, but it burnt! (luckily i have a husband who will eat anything...)

9:42 AM  
Blogger Stephie said...


Hi, yes it does take a little longer when you do this. It might be because the added water brings the temp in the pot down a bit (even though we see this massive boiling going on when the water is added).

Might also depend on when you added the water. I added it after about 2 min, when the pot was hot and the kernels and oil were sizzling.

If you try this again, I'd keep the heat at medium and wait it out. Sugar burns easily on higher heat but (as Alton Brown says) your patience will be rewarded :).

11:10 AM  

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