Meet the Cook: Our brood - five children from 16 to 23 - says it's not Christmas here until I make this. I usually double the recipe so I can put some in tins or baskets for hostess gifts when we're invited out. As long as it's kept in a dry place, Popcorn Nut Crunch will last - up to 3 weeks if you seal it in a tin. -Midge Stolte, Blackfalds, Alberta
- 2 quarts popped popcorn
- 1 cup blanched whole almonds, toasted
- 1 cup each pecan halves, cashews, Brazil nuts and hazelnuts, toasted
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup dark corn syrup
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Place the popcorn and nuts in a lightly greased 5-qt. Dutch oven. Bake at 250° for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup and butter; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 290° (soft-crack stage).
- Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla and cinnamon. Pour a small amount at a time over popcorn mixture, stirring constantly until the mixture is well coated.
- Immediately spread on greased baking sheets. Cool; break into pieces. Store in airtight containers. Yield: about 4 quarts.
Originally published as Popcorn Nut Crunch in Country Woman November/December 1997, p31
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