Monday, May 28, 2012
Salted Caramel Corn Cookies
The long holiday weekend is quickly coming to a close. With the true meaning of this Memorial Day weekend being focused on the soldiers who have fallen and our thoughts going out to their families for their loss and the sacrifice they made for all of us. Sometimes, with little time to slow down and really think about things, holiday weekends like this are gentle reminders to enjoy each moment, each interaction and each person who is in our lives that we care about.
Wrapping up our weekend, hubby and I spent a few hours washing our cars. They are normally black in color, but a grey hue was more present. The wheels were blackened versus a semi shiny silver color. The weather was perfect and just a hint of wind. With a soapy bucket and all of our car wash accruements by our side, we began the task at hand.
During our little adventure, hubby took a minute to enjoy one of my Salted Caramel Corn Cookies that I made a few hours earlier. He let me know that this had to be one of the BEST cookies I have ever made. Knowing that he is my ultimate critic, this was huge praise. I now know I have a true winner on my hands.
The caramel corn recipe is an adaptation from Martha Stewart and the basic cookie recipe is from my great Aunt Midge. She would add sugar pop cereal to the recipe where I thought to give it an refresh with adding the salted caramel corn. The end result is a crispy, well seasoned cookie that will leave you wanting a second and probably a third one. Beware – they are addictive – in a good way.
Salted Caramel Corn
1 C. (2 sticks) butter
3/4 C. White corn kernels
3 T. canola oil
2 C. packed light-brown sugar
1/2 C. Corn syrup
2 t. Vanilla
2 t. Grey salt
1/2 t. Baking soda
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Use large non-stick baking pans with sides. Place corn kernels and oil in a large pot over medium-high heat; cover. Once kernels begin to pop, shake pot frequently; when popping slows to about 3 seconds between pops, remove from heat and uncover. Transfer to a large bowl.
Cook sugar, butter, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring, until it reaches 255 degrees. Use a candy thermometer to check to see when you reach 255 degrees.
Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla, grey salt, and baking soda. Place popcorn in a very large bowl and pour caramel over popcorn; toss to coat. Divide between baking sheets. Bake, stirring occasionally, 1 hour 20 minutes. Let cool.
Note: You will have enough caramel corn to enjoy beyond what is inside the cookies.
Salted Caramel Corn Cookies
½ C. Shortening, butter flavored
1 C. Sugar
1 T. Vanilla
½ t. Salt
½ t. Baking Soda
1 ¼ C. Flour
3 C. Caramel Corn
Using a stand mixer, cream together the shortening, sugar and salt. Add the egg and whip quickly. Then add the vanilla and baking soda until incorporated. Slowly add the flour until well mixed. Remove the mixing bowl and gently mix in the caramel corn with a spoon being careful to over mix or break up the caramel corn. Stir until all caramel corn is covered.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Using a cookie or ice cream scoop, make one inch balls and be careful to leave plenty of room between, since they will spread. Cook for 9 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for one minute, then remove with a spatula onto a wire rack to cool.