So I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I love homemade gifts. Sure, I can whip up a batch of cookies or bars for Christmas or someone’s birthday, but I’m talking crafts here. I love hearing about older aunts and grandmas who start knitting in July so they can have everyone’s blankets or sweaters done by Christmas.
I’d love to be able to make someone a quilt…wait, let me rephrase that. I’d like to be able to make someone a quilt and not want to pull my hair out halfway through the process. I can crochet a little bit, but I always seem to get my stitch a little too tight or end up going at a wonky angle. It’s a wonky scarf!! I’d really like to knit, but using both hands seems to make the whole thing harder for my amateur craft abilities.
Now, I am not without artistic ability. I loved to draw as a kid. Art class and English class were always my favorites. And I really like watercolor. But the catch is that I can only draw really well when I have a picture in front of me for reference. With a picture there, my waterfall looks like a waterfall. But if you just give me a piece of paper and tell me to draw a waterfall it’ll look like a five year old scribbling huge water drops. 😃
While I continue practicing crafts to hand out as gifts, in the meantime I’ll stick to what I know: food as a gift. I cut myself a lot less on scrapbook paper that way. 😄 And since before you know it we’ll be heading into a fall state of mind, I thought I’d turn to something that could possibly be a festive gift: caramel corn!
Now wait, wait, wait. You’re thinking “But didn’t you just have a caramel corn recipe?” Well…yes I did. But I’m practicing recipes for fall and Christmas and I just didn’t want to wait with this one. It was too crunchy, caramely, and delicious.
This isn’t just caramel corn, this is Amish caramel corn. What’s the difference? Well, they’re not afraid of caramel, that’s for sure. They may be my new best friends because of it. And it has a rich, almost maple-y taste. Mmm, gift giving is hard work, especially when you make food gifts. You have no choice but to taste test everything, you know? I mean, you have to make sure it’s perfect. 😋
- 7 quarts popped popcorn
- 2 cups dry roasted peanuts (optional)
- 2 cups brown sugar
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup butter
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
- Put popped popcorn into two shallow greased baking pans or disposable roasting pans. Add peanuts and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to combine.
- Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will be foamy.
- Pour over popcorn/nut mixture and stir thoroughly to combine.
- Baking for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.