What to Make: Popcorn Twist Caramel Corn

Do you ever look at the back of food packages and see a recipe and wonder what it tastes like? And if people really make them? I know some are pretty obvious (rice krispie squares, icing on the icing sugar bag, bread on flour) but some are a bit more out there, have you ever seen the Heinz Ketchup Cake recipe? Another one that I was always curious about was the caramel corn recipe on the back of popcorn twists.

To me it just seemed so odd, Popcorn Twists are a light salty, fragile snack. They practically dissolve when they hit your tongue. How could they stand up to being covered in caramel. Well, this was the week we found out. I had (almost) everything needed for the recipe: popcorn twists, butter, brown sugar, baking soda and corn syrup.

When I say “almost” I mean I barely had half the amount of corn syrup that the recipe called for so I just cut the entire thing in half. This way everyone wins – we still had the salty snack and if all turned out, a sweet snack too.

I was pretty surprised when the recipe was actually quite successful. It’s not pretty to look at but it is good. The slow bake of the twists and caramel makes a light crispy coat surrounding the popcorn twists. It’s a nice balance between salt and sweet. Of course after I made this and posted my adventure on Instagram, a former co-worker reached out and told me she makes it a couple of times a year and that triggered my memory of having this in the past. I would make this again, it was really easy and has ingredients (popcorn twists aside) that I always have in my house.

A few tips:
– If you make the whole bag be sure to follow the directions and use a roasting pan to bake it in. This makes a lot and you have to stir it a few times, a shallow pan would be super challenging.
– Soak your pots, spoons etc after you are done – the caramel really sticks to everything but dissolves nicely in water
– If you only have a few people in the house, follow my directions below and cut the recipe in half (fun fact – the recipe on the bag is slightly different than the recipe on the Old Dutch website! )

– 1/2 bag of Popcorn Twists
– 1/4 cup of corn syrup
– 1/2 cup of brown sugar
-1/4 cup of light corn syrup
1/2 tsp of baking soda

Preheat oven to 250F.
Put the popcorn twists in a large baking dish, like a roasting pan.
Melt butter, corn syrup and brown sugar in a large pot.
When everything is melted and combined, add the baking soda (mixture will foam/boil up). Stir for about 2 minutes.
Pour mixture over the popcorn twists and gentle stir to coat the twists.
Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
When baking time is done, transfer the twists to a wax paper covered surface to cool.

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