Thursday, March 29, 2012

Caramel Corn

This is delicious caramel popcorn that is easy to make and is a hit at the holidays when given as a gift. I used to make this for my kids when they were young and they loved it. This was one of Carrie's very favorite snack foods that I made in fall and winter. There are other recipes I've had made with white sugar, but they are not nearly as good as this recipe. This is delish!

Caramel Corn
                                              250 degrees
6 quarts popped corn
2 sticks real butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light Karo syrup
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Pop popcorn, measure out, put aside till needed.
Melt butter in 3 quart saucepan. Stir in sugar, Karo, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Boil without stirring for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in soda and vanilla.
Gradually pour over popped corn, mixing well.
Pour popcorn evenly between two large shallow pans (cookie sheets with 1"sides on them).
Bake in 250 degree oven for one hour. Every 15 minutes, stir popped corn to keep from sticking.
Watch last 15 minutes so it does not burn. Remove from oven and cool completely. Store in airtight container(s).

Tip: You can add one cup of peanuts to this recipe by adding to the popcorn once you add the syrup.
        Do not make this on a rainy day as it may not come out as you'd like for it to.

Old Virginia Applesauce Cake

I came across this recipe back in 1975 in the food section of the Dispatch. I made it and liked it. There was a cake baking contest at the family reunion I went to that July, and so I made this cake thinking it would be a winner. I had even made a homemade white frosting to go over the cake. I did not win because a couple of the judges did not like raisins! No fair. The winner ended up being a boxed chocolate cake made in a Wilton pan and decorated with a star tip. Really? A boxed cake mix???  Anyway, this is a cake made for anytime, but is especially nice in the fall. I like spice cake, so I like it anytime I am in the mood for a spice cake. It is also an easy recipe to put together.

Old Virginia Applesauce Cake
                                                                 350 degree oven
1/2 cup palm oil shortening*
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups applesauce
1 egg, beaten
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp apple pie spice
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Cream shortening and sugar till light and fluffy. Gradually add applesauce and egg; beat well.
Sift flour before measuring. Then sift flour with baking powder and spices.
Dissolve baking soda in boiling water.
Add flour mixture alternately with water to creamed mixture. Stir in raisins and nuts.
Grease and flour a tube pan.
Pour batter into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour, or till tests done. Cool five minutes in pan. Invert onto cooling rack. When completely cool, frost with a white frosting of your choice. A brown sugar frosting would also be good.

*The original recipe called for regular vegetable shortening. I do not use vegetable shortening or vegetable oils.