When I was a little girl, one of the treats my Grandma Catherine would buy me was CrackerJacks™ caramel corn. I had a collection of all the little toys they put inside the boxes, from mini-holographic photos to magnifying spyglasses. I enjoyed that sweet, crispy buttery caramel corn, but haven't purchased it in years because they use ingredients that we try to avoid, like genetically modified soy and corn.
My friend, Shannon, mentioned that her family always made a delicious honey caramel corn recipe for the holiday season. She messaged me a copy of a handwritten list of ingredients, saying that she remembered they used a thermometer but didn't remember cooking details. A little online digging revealed a recipe that sounded similar, so I married the two together and came up with a recipe that reminds me of grandma and the way things used to taste.
Honey Caramel Corn Recipe
Adapted from www.honey.com
1/2 cup honey or Cox's creamed honey
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil
1/2 cup packed brown sugar or sucanat
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (homemade extract is great if you have it)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 quarts popped popcorn
Melt butter in large saucepan or cast iron skillet; stir in sugar, honey and salt.
Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; boil without stirring about three minutes to 265°F (hard ball stage). Remove from heat; stir in vanilla extract and soda. When you add the soda, the color will get lighter and the mixture will get more bubbly.
Place popcorn in large oven-safe bowl; slowly pour syrup over popcorn while stirring.
Turn onto greased or reusable parchment paper covered 15-1/4×10-1/4×1/4-inch baking pan. Bake at 250°F for 45 minutes; stir every 15 minutes. Cool. Break into serving-sized pieces. Store in airtight container. Makes four quarts (eight servings of two cups each). You can make a bigger batch and pile it up in a Dutch oven for an attractive, rustic centerpiece on the serving table.
Honey Caramel Corn
Old fashioned honey caramel corn is light and crispy, buttery and not too sweet.
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar or sucanat
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 quarts popped popcorn
- Melt butter in large saucepan or cast iron skillet; stir in sugar, honey and salt.
- Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium; boil without stirring about three minutes to 265°F (hard ball stage).
- Remove from heat; stir in vanilla extract and soda.
- Place popcorn in large oven-safe bowl; slowly pour syrup over popcorn while stirring.
- Turn onto greased or reusable parchment paper covered 15-1/4×10-1/4×1/4-inch baking pan.
- Bake at 250°F for 45 minutes; stir every 15 minutes.
- Cool. Break into serving-sized pieces. Store in airtight container. Makes four quarts (eight servings of two cups each).
Support Beekeepers – Adopt a Hive
Cox Honey contacted me to help get the word out about their Adopt a Hive initiative. Delaun Mills Cox started caring for bees all the way back in 1880, and the beekeeping tradition has been passed down through the family for over 100 years. Their bees forage on high mountain clover. Their honey is gently heated for extraction – never pasteurized – preserving the enzymes present in the raw honey. It is also screened rather than filtered, to retain the trace amounts of pollen in the honey. Cox Honey Farms Creamed Honey has a rich, velvety texture that makes it easy to spread and enjoy.
By adopting a hive you become a beehive sponsor ensuring that a community of bees are protected and cared for correctly and their research can continue to solve the major environmental issues. Also 10% of every purchase will be donated The American Beekeeping Federation in your name to further preservation efforts for the Honey Bee.
The benefits of owning your own beehive without the hassle include:
- 10% off all honey purchases at www.coxshoney.com
- A 10% donation in your name to The American Bee Federation
- Bulk supply of liquid and creamed honey (1 month – 1 year, depending on your adoption package)
I received the Platinum Membership, which includes:
- Personalized Welcome Kit: Certificate of Adoption, GPS Locations, Pictures
- 12 oz Liquid Squeeze Bear and 20 oz Creamed Honey Container
- 10% off all online purchase at www.coxshoney.com
- A 10% Donation will be made to The American Bee Federation
- 30 Pounds of Honey: 7.5 lbs of Liquid Honey sent in February
- 7.5 lbs of Creamed Honey sent in May
- 7.5 lbs of Liquid Honey sent in August
- 7.5 lbs of Creamed Honey sent in November
All Memberships will renew automatically at the end of their membership year unless notification is received. Please review terms and conditions. Memberships received in February, May, August, November will have honey sent 31 days after Membership start date.
What is Cox's Creamed Honey?
If you've ever stored honey for a long period of time, I'm sure you've run into honey crystals. While these crystals don't effect the quality of the honey, they do make it tougher to serve and measure for recipes. The honey crystals can also have an unpleasant gritty texture. Cox's Creamed Honey has solved this problem.
“Creamed Honey is a controlled form of granulation. Essentially, Cox’s Honey takes liquid honey, accelerates the granulation process, run it through a mill to beat down all the granules, and packages it. A smooth texture and more robust taste is the result. It also turns white as the granules are crushed. There is absolutely nothing added or taken away. It is still our signature pure clover honey, taken one step further.”
This creaming process means your honey will stay smooth, creamy and ready to serve for years to come. I'm happy to have a stash with the rest of the harvest to head into winter.
What's your favorite way to use honey?
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