Several weeks ago me and my daughter made one of my favourite childhood snack which is mixed Popcorn and Nuts coated with Caramel, I am not sure if it is commercially available here in New Zealand that’s why we made our own so that I can let my daughter try it. In the Philippines we can easily buy this in supermarkets and it is called “Nuts and Pops” but I guess they are not selling it now as the Goldilocks version became really popular and the one they sell does not have nuts on it. Now if you are tired of having that butter or salted popcorn you should definitely try this one out for a change.
Before we go on to the recipe I will give you some information about this loved snack. Popcorn existed since 4700 B.C., there was an evidence found in Peru which dates back to that time. It was believed then to have arrived in North America around 3600 BC when evidences were found in New Mexico. There were no accounts after that but history says that during the Great Depression (around 1930 – 1945) popcorn became really popular, at 5-10 cents a bag this is what people eat as a cheaper alternative. During those times there are lots of businesses who sold popcorn and it became a great source of income for many struggling farmers. Combining caramel and corn on the other hand dates as far as 1890s when Cracker Jack was introduced at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, it was made out of molasses, popcorn and peanuts. The production process got enhanced and mass commercialization took place, peanuts was omitted then the rest was history.
1. In a deep heavy pot heat oil add two pieces of popping corn then turn heat on. When both kernels pops it means your oil is ready.
2. Pour the 1/2 cup of popping corn then cover, once you hear the popping sound move the pot briskly and continuously on the stove top so that the corn kernels that haven’t popped yet settles to the bottom. Once the popping stopped open the lid and pour popcorn on a separate container immediately.
3. Using the same pot add the butter, salt and sugar, melt mixture in low heat until it becomes caramel in consistency. Please note sugar will initially crystalize and it will be in that state for a bit longer than you expected, be patient, don’t turn the heat higher and keep an eye on it as it will melt instantly, and once it melts give it 10 more seconds and you should turn of the heat immediately otherwise it will burn the sugar.
4. Now add the popcorn and peanuts, mix well until popcorn is evenly coated.
5. While still hot, place coated popcorn in a flat surface, prevent them from forming into large chunks and let it cool.