Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Superbowl Sweet, Nutty & Crunchy Turtle Corn

Thinking about what "snacky" things to make for Sunday's Superbowl had me reminiscing a bit. As I considered making a big batch of Turtle Corn (among the regular wings and guac and such), it harkened me back to the days when the girls were in college. 

Care packages with tins of this crisp, crunchy and chewy, caramel, chocolate and toasted pecan confection would be either mailed to one of the girls as a surprise or sometimes tucked into the backseat for an extra special bonus during a visit from mom and dad as a sweet reminder of home. It's been a long time since I made it for the girls (it's been a long time since they were in college!), but I did pull the old recipe out again recently.

Just a couple of weekends ago, I held a special brunch for a special bunch of friends. You guessed it, Turtle Corn made the cut for the menu and held a special spot on the dessert buffet. 

Turtle Corn in a treasured Fisher's Popcorn tin from Ocean City last year. (Also pictured, Hot Curried Cashews, Gingerbread Figgy Pudding Dark Rum Trifle, Blacktop Marble Cheesecake)

Even though I did just make it for a crowd, it's the perfect casual Superbowl snack...and any leftovers are always appreciated at work! Thinking of what to serve your guests for your own big Superbowl party? Turtle Corn might be just what you're looking for!

Turtle Corn

  • 4 quarts popped popcorn, checked well for unpopped or partially popped kernels and toss those away...you only want those big, beautiful, fully popped and fluffy pieces! (I use mushroom popcorn these days because they're bigger and fuller like the premium popcorn places use. Amazon, of course, carries it.)

  • 3 C sugar
  • 1 C water
  • 1 C light unsulphered molasses
  • 6 T butter
  • 4 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t baking soda

  • 1 pound pecan halves, toasted in the oven at 300 degrees until warmed and fragrant - watch carefully so they don't burn
  • 6 oz chocolate chips, melted

Prepare to put this together quickly as the caramel mixture will harden in a hurry. Put the popcorn and toasted pecans into a very large container - I use a canning kettle or a crab pot - before you start the caramel. Also prepare 2 large rimmed cookie sheets by buttering them lightly. 

In a large, deep, heavy bottomed pot, combine water, molasses, butter, vinegar and salt. Cook over medium high heat until your candy thermometer reaches 260 degrees (hard ball stage). 

Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Mixture will bubble up and then turn "creamy." (This is why you use such a large pot, you don't want to risk having this boil over on your stove or on YOU!) Once the bubbling subsides and the mixture well combined, immediately pour it over the waiting popcorn and pecans. Using a long wooden or metal spoon - not plastic, stir and mix until the popcorn is completely covered. Be careful not to touch the caramel, it will be one nasty burn, I assure you.

Remember those buttered, rimmed cookie sheets? Immediately turn the caramel corn onto the two cookie sheets, dividing equally. Use your spoon to spread the mixture on the cookie sheets. Let the caramel corn cool completely. 

Once cooled, break into pieces and drizzle with half the melted chocolate. Let the chocolate set, turn the pieces over and drizzle with the remaining chocolate. Let set and dry completely before storing in an airtight container or large ziptop bags.

This is the "mushroom" popcorn I used from Amazon. "Mushroom" refers to the shape of the popcorn.

Print this post

No comments: