Next on my list of things to do…make some goodies for a few of my friends. Last year, I went all out and made SO many baked goods. SO many. Like so many that I missed my flight that morning because I stayed up all night into the morning trying to finish up. That morning happened to be Christmas Eve, which in turn made me miss the craziness that comes with any Fairbanks Family gathering with my Aunt’s and Uncle’s and cousins, so sad. So this year, this year…I decided to edit. I saw a recipe for what is called “Moose Munch.” I’m sure it goes by several other names as well, but I like “Moose Munch.” It seemed pretty easy to whip up, so that was the plan. Then at the last minute I decided I needed to make some apple cinnamon granola as well. I’m not sure why other than that’s what I do. Make things more complicated for myself. All. The. Time. It was all gonna be fine though. I can handle two things. So I spent an evening putting these treats together. An evening that I probably should have spent cleaning my apartment, packing my bags, making a dessert tray for a catering event I had the night of my departure…instead here’s what happened in my kitchen.
First, I popped some of that poppity corn. About 2 bags per batch.
Rule #1, DO NOT burn the popcorn! My friend Natalie of the Messy Mom has this enduring little post about what she did when she burnt the popcorn once (I also happen to love the little cartoon on her bags of popcorn).
Rule #2, DO NOT under cook the popcorn in fear of burning the popcorn. I actually made a test batch of this stuff one other night and I was afraid to burn the popcorn, so I stopped the microwave a little early. The recipe that I was following says to remove the kernels from the popcorn, I decided to omit this step because it seemed an impossible and daunting task. Let me just tell you…REMOVE the kernels from the popcorn! These guys right here are nasty little wanna be tooth chipping culprits, you don’t want them in your Moose Munch.
At this point I went ahead and preheated the oven to 300 degrees.
On the stove top in a pan, I started heating up over medium heat:
- 6 tbsp. butter
- 3 tbsp. corn syrup
- 3/4 c. brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla
Cooking and stirring until the mixture boiled. Continue boiling at a steady rate for 4 minutes, don’t even think about stirring it.
Actually, you’ll think about wanting to stir, you’ll think about it a lot, but you don’t have to. For 4 minutes. Let it be.
Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 tsp baking soda and the vanilla.
Rule #3- Don’t forget the baking soda! Somehow I missed this step in the first batch. It wasn’t a huge issue, but the baking soda definitely has an effect on the caramel. Stir it in there! Then I poured that caramel over the popcorn and stirred it up until it was well coated.
Next I spread it out semi-evenly onto a greased baking sheet and put in the oven for roughly 15 minutes.
Look at me multi-tasking.
If you look closely you can see the Apple Cinnamon Granola baking on the top shelf filling my apartment with glorious smells! Yeah, sometimes I can do two things at once. Sometimes.
Once I pulled the baked caramel corn out of the oven, I sprinkled it with chocolate chips and M&Ms. I Let it cool for a few minutes, and then poured it into a bowl so that chocolate could melt and spread.
Easy as that.
Now if you happen to be one of my friends in the DFW area and at this point are beginning to question our friendship because you haven’t received a helping of Moose Munch…no worries, we are still friends. You see, I seemed to have bitten off more caramel corn than I could chew. When it came down to the wire, I had no means of packaging and no time left to deliever any of this popcorn goodness, so I had to tell myself I would NOT repeat last year. I would be ready to go at the appointed time of departure. So sadly for my friends you only get to enjoy this treat here online. Consider this recipe my gift to you, you just might have to do a little bit of the dirty work which isn’t so bad…except maybe the dishes. Love ya!