Although I have an overabundance of saved recipes that I have yet to try, I still couldn’t resist purchasing Taste of Home’s “Bake Sale 2009” magazine when I spotted it on the shelf at the grocery store. I want to make everything in the book (it doesn’t hurt that pictures accompany each recipe!), but this is the first thing I’ve tried.
It is really hard for me to stick to a recipe exactly, and this one is no exception. Come on, a recipe with toffee in the title and none in the recipe? That had to be fixed! So here’s my version.
Nutty Toffee Popcorn
Adapted from Glenna Hale’s recipe in Taste of Home’s Bake Sale 2009
½ cup popcorn kernels
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup whole almonds (I used roasted & salted)
1 c butter
2 c packed brown sugar
½ c light corn syrup
½ t cream of tartar
½ t baking soda
½ t rum extract
½ cup toffee bits (like Heath baking bits)
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Pop kernels (I use an air popper) and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle the nuts over the top of the popped popcorn and set aside.
Melt butter in a heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat, then stir in the brown sugar, corn syrup and cream of tartar. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil, without stirring, for five minutes (if you have a candy thermometer, you can clamp it to the side of the and wait until the mixture reaches 300 degrees F). Remove from heat and stir in baking soda & rum extract until mixture is light and foamy. Immediately pour over the popcorn mixture & stir to coat well. Bake in a large roaster pan or two jelly roll pans for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. The last time you stir, when only 15 minutes remain, sprinkle the toffee over the top, stir and return to the oven. When it has baked an hour, lay sheets of waxed paper on the counter and spread the popcorn over it to dry, breaking up the pieces with a spoon as you spread it out. Once it has cooled, store in an airtight container. I usually just put mine into gallon-sized Ziploc bags. In this case, I only needed one b/c only half the popcorn survived to the packaging step!