December 09, 2008

Favorite Things: Christmas Goodies

The goodies list came out today--each department has a day when each teacher must bring goodies to load up the teachers' lounge. I imagine that one of things most people can agree on about Christmas is the number of delicious goodies that seem to appear only at this time of year.

I love so many Christmas traditional yummies Mama Cool has whipped up over the years--English toffee, peppermint bark, gingerbread cookies, drommar, Honey Twists, snowballs . . .the list could go on for miles. What are your favorite treats this time of year?

In the spirit of the season, though, I thought I'd share my favorite goodie to make and share. If only the internet was magical enough that you could reach into the computer and grab some.

This recipe is from the back of a bag of Jolly Time popcorn. I think it makes the best caramel corn ever. It makes a bunch too, so feel free to share!

Baked Caramel Corn

Nonstick cooking Spray
6 quarts popped Jolly Time Pop Corn (air popped is the absolute best)
1 cup butter or margarine
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light or dark corn syrup (I prefer dark for a more caramelly color)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 250 F. Coat bottom and sides of large roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place popped pop corn in roasting pan.

In heavy saucepan, slowly melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in baking soda and vanilla.

Gradually pour over popped pop corn, mixing well. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool completely. Break apart and store in tightly covered container.

Makes about 6 quarts


mark said...

Christmas goodies - I love penut brittle and toffee! Lucky for me I know someone who makes some pretty good stuff!

Lynn Trew said...

The favorites at our house pecan crescents, Mick's peanut brittle, choc covered pretzels, cut-outs and my Mom's wreath cookies....

The Coach said...

I love popcorn balls - it was a Lockwood family tradition. We'd arrive at grandpa and grandma's house, and there would be 4 or 5 full paper grocery bags filled with popcorn, ready for the passing of the butter sticks. We'd all get our hands buttered while grandma or Aunt Millie or mom cooked up the Karo, then start forming the popcorn balls. I still hold the record for single-day popcorn-ball eating: 44 balls (all between baseball and softball size). I also had a record number of cavities that year.

Another Christmas favorite (not from my family): Caramel Cornpuffs - it's just like caramel corn, but without the hulls and seeds of popcorn. Some grocers sell corn puffs or corn curls (imagine Cheetos without the cheese flavor added), and you put the caramel corn sauce on these instead. They're lighter and crispier, with the same decadent (same root word as decay - root - get it?) taste.

Jennifer Miller said...

mmm - I won't be eating much of the treats this year, if at all, buuut I love Mom's walnut balls and chocolate truffles!