Several years ago, I had my first taste of chocolate covered popcorn from a very popular food gift store. It was love at first bite. Around the same time my mother started regularly making caramel corn for occasions. It was the kind that you eat until your stomach hurt. Well, shortly after that I combined the two and started gifting it for the holidays. It is a pretty hot item and once you give it a try you will see why.
It starts with an adaptation of Paula Deen’s Grandma Paul’s Caramel Corn Recipe, available at Food Network. Then comes the chocolate. It ends up being heavenly!
Chocolate Caramel Corn
adapted from Paula Deen
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
4-5 quarts popped corn
8 ounces mixed nuts (optional)
1 11.5 ounce package chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 200°. Spread out the popped corn and mixed nuts in a large roasting pan and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the first 5 ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once the combination begins to boil, continue for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Immediately stir in the baking soda and vanilla. The combination should foam a little bit. Pour the caramel over the popcorn/nut mix and stir gently. Bake in the oven for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Once done, spread the caramel corn out on wax paper to cool completely before adding the chocolate.
In a double boiler (or a glass bowl set over a pot of boiling water), melt the chocolate chips, stirring frequently. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the caramel corn and allow to cool. Break up larger chunks if necessary, once completely cooled.