CHRISTMAS CRACKER JACK – DEC 17/16
There was a time when we would go and buy a variety of candy and chocolates to have out on the shelves and table through the Christmas season. Over the past few years I have been cutting back on these sugary treats and this year I am going even a bit further. With all of the diseases that they now say may be linked to consuming sugar, I don’t want to be the one to feed it in excess.
We still will buy chocolate and lots of different kinds of nuts. Now I am also choosing to make the recipes that contain less sugar or corn syrup or can be changed to contain less.
Because our family still has a sweet tooth, I am trying to find ways to cut some of the sugar and as well choose the recipes that can be changed to include healthier ingredients like nuts, extra popcorn, and fruit.
Last night I took out my FROM YOUR HOUSE TO OURS cookbook and decided to make Caramel Corn on page 60. This time I will make the recipe exchanging the corn syrup for honey. The recipe turned out just the same and just as good, however I decided to bake it a bit more carefully as I know honey tends to brown easily.
I also popped an extra cup of corn so we are getting less sugar & more popped corn and yet it is plenty sweet.
I did this at Halloween when our family always comes to enjoy caramel corn and chat around the table. Not one of the kids or adults mentioned that the recipe seemed different and they cleaned out the bowls.
Below is the changed recipe and the directions.
Pop 3 cups of popping corn. I pop 1/2 cup at a time in our popper. Put the popped corn into a large container; or several large containers.
In a pot melt :
1 cup margarine or butter
Add: 2 cups brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
1 teaspoon sea salt
Boil almost 5 minutes
Remove from stove and mix in:
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Stir this mixture into the popped corn, trying to coat most of it. Put into roasting pans or a roaster and bake at 250 º F for a half hour; stirring it around every 10 minutes, getting any syrup that is on the bottom to mix with the popped corn.
Remove from the oven, spreading out loosely in another container right away so it hardens in individual pieces.
If you are over 70 like me, this may remind you of the cracker jack we used to buy in boxes with these little train cars inside. The added molasses makes this popped corn the right color & flavor.
This recipe made 5 ice-cream pails full of caramel corn. Enjoy!
FROM YOUR HOUSE TO OURS cookbook is full of recipes and hints to make the holiday season very special and fun! See www.winnieswinningways.ca to order this book.
Have a very special and blessed Christmas! Winnie