C and H Dark brown sugar. Don't leave your grocery store without it.This week, I got a $20 gift card from C and H and Domino sugars. The money was meant to help cover the cost of creating a treat from their website and posting about it here on Prudence Pennywise. The truth of the matter is that irregardless of the $20 gift card, I ALWAYs buy C and H dark brown sugar. The flavor is deep and caramely, perfect for adding depth to any recipe that calls for brown sugar. Cheap grocery store brand brown sugar just doesn't have the same flavor quality, and you end up unfortunately getting what you paid for. When it comes to C and H dark brown sugar, I'm a life long loyal customer. So I'm happy to toot their holiday horn today. You've got to head over to their website and check out their great holiday gift ideas. Check them out here.
My favorite idea was for caramel corn:
"To ship baked goods with popcorn as cushion, add 1/2 of caramelized popcorn into a large clear plastic bag. Insert bag into shipping box. Adjust bag and popcorn to fill bottom of box. Add your baked goods, which should be in a sealed plastic bag. Top off with the remaining of the popcorn mixture and securely seal the plastic bag. Be sure to release enough air so that you can close the box. Your baked items will safely be floating in the delicious caramelized popcorn, ready to ship. "
I'd heard of packing in plain styrofoam-y popcorn, but caramel corn is an entirely different matter altogether. Wouldn't you love to open a present and have this sweet popcorn come spilling out instead of those packing peanuts that kids always make a mess with? And even if you aren't packing up for shipping, Dark Brown Sugar Caramel Popcorn makes a sensational gift. It's easy and quick to make, plus it's extremely inexpensive. But then again, why give it all away for a gift? Wouldn't your family like a big bowl of it in front of the fireplace with a Christmas story tonight?
Now here's the recipe, and it's fantastic. I make it all the time, but with one significant difference. I don't always bake it in the oven when I'm done. Sometimes I want chewy, gooey caramel popcorn, so I skip the oven, and simply toss it and eat it. For packing up for give-aways, I always use the baking option. In fact, I'm making some today to hand out to my top-scoring college students on our most recent Humanities test. No wonder my Winter classes are already full.
1 cup salted butter
2 cups C&H Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 quarts popped popcorn
Preheat oven to 250°F. Line two large shallow baking dishes with parchment paper. Divide popcorn and spread into baking dishes, set aside. For caramel: In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter. Add brown sugar, corn syrup and salt, continuously stirring, bring to a boil. Let boil for 3-4 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat, stir in baking soda and vanilla. While caramel is still hot, stream over popcorn. Stir caramel into popcorn with a wooden spoon to coat. (Stop here if you like it gooey and chewy.) Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Break apart popcorn with your hands.