Recipe Rundown: Nutty chocolate caramel corn

by Kari Walker

Sweet and savory treat for fall flings.

It may only be the first week of October, but I have my sights - and stomach - set on some treats that scream fall and of course, Halloween. During a recent trip to my childhood home, my mom was preparing for a week long getaway to the beach. In true beach house fashion, this list of treats included salty and sweet snacks - namely this little gem of a recipe that blends the two so harmoniously your taste buds will sing. I was hesitant as I'm generally not a fan of caramel corn because I find it overly sweet, but not this one thanks to the addition of pecans and cashews to absorb the sticky goodness. Finished with a drizzle of white and milk chocolate, it could easily be portioned into mason jars perfect for gifting, a white dish on the table for any fall gathering or in small cellophane bags with orange and black bows for trick or treats.

2 microwaved bags popped popcorn
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
1 stick of butter
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup each: almonds, pecans, cashews

Place popped corn on a large greased baking sheet. Combine next 3 ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower and boil for 5 minutes - stir mixture often as not to scorch. Remove caramel sauce from heat and add remaining ingredients to saucepan and stir until mixed well. Pour caramel-nut mixture over popped corn and mix well. Bake pan for 1 hour stirring every 20 minutes. Remove the popcorn from the oven and spread over waxed paper on counter top to cool.

While caramel corn is cooling, melt 3 squares of chocolate almond bark and 2 squares of vanilla almond bark in separate bowls, then drizzle barks over the caramel corn with a spoon. Allow bark-drizzled corn to cool, then separate and store in an air-tight container or serve to salivating guests.

Photo by: Kari Walker