Phew, it’s been awhile you guys. I’ll admit, I took a break from blogging for a few reasons, namely not balancing my work/life properly. I love my job, and since working there I started doing more and more, especially with photography and social media. It made doing things for my blog feel like work instead of fun, and I desperately needed a break to strip everything away and get back to the reason I started this blog to begin with. I realized baking and making cool stuff with beer had become so minimal on here, so with renewed motivation I am glad to be back!
With that being said, I have a few cool recipes I will be sharing with you, along with a bunch of back-logged posts I just didn’t have the motivation to write. I am like a hoarder of edited photos, so be ready to – I’ve got a bunch of awesome stuff to share!
Without further ado, I present to you – Beer Caramel Corn made with Ninkasi’s Vanilla Oatis! I am a huge fan of Ninkasi, as you may know, so I wanted to do something cool with their vanilla stout that was a bit unexpected. I made this caramel corn recipe for a work event (see what I mean) last year and never got around to blogging about it, but I remember people raved about it being so delicious and addicting. It was a match made in heaven!
8 quarts of popped popcorn (I have an air pop because I am obsessed with popcorn, but you can just buy the unflavored bags of microwaved popcorn or use your stove top to make it too… I like the big kernels for this)
2 cups brown sugar (light or dark, don’t matter)
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons of Vanilla Oatis Beer
- Heat your oven to 250 degrees F. Spray large roasting tray with cooking spray. It needs to be really large, like the one you would use for a turkey, or two of those tin disposable trays would do. Place your popped popcorn in the roasting tray and let it sit in the oven while you prepare your caramel. This helps dry out the popcorn of any leftover moisture, and heat it so the caramel doesn’t seize when you pour it on.
- I don’t know if many of you get all your ingredients measured first, then make your recipe, but I typically don’t – with one exemption…. when making candy. You should never turn your back on candy, because it can burn in the blink of an eye. Always prep everything first. Put your brown sugar and corn syrup and salt and butter in a medium to large sauce pan. The butter will splash a bit so have some room to mix it. Pre-measure your baking soda and beer (in separate bowls) and set aside. Cook the sugar mixture over medium heat, whisking continuiously, until it starts to boil. Once it’s boiling, let it boil for 5 minutes without touching it. After five minutes, take your popcorn out of the oven, take the sugar mixture off the heat, and mix in the baking soda and beer with a whisk into the sugar mixture. It should react to the baking soda and foam up a bit. That’s good!
- Pour the sugar caramel mixture over the popcorn as quckly and evenly as possible. Mix it around with two spatulas as best as you can to get it evenly distributed. Put it back in the oven.
- Bake for 45 minutes, take it out every 15 minutes or so to mix around to ensure even coating, and maximum crunchiness.
- Prepare a space to spread out the candy on a flat surface (I put a towel down, then a large sheet of tin foil I sprayed with cooking spray and folded the edges up so it wouldn’t go everywhere). Put the finished popcorn on the flat surface and spread it out with a spatula so it’s an even layer. Sprinkle with some extra sea salt as desired. I prefer salty & sweet so I added sea salt when it was right out of the oven so it would stick to the popcorn.
- Let cool & enjoy! It should keep for about a week in airtight containers. It made enough for three gallon ziploc bags.
Needless to say, this was a huge hit! I think the beer added a subtle vanilla malty note to the sugar and butter flavors of this popcorn. I thought I was in trouble for having made so much of it. Luckily my co-workers couldn’t keep their hands off of it, and my husband gave a bag away to our friends work and they devoured it as well. I highly recommend making this, it keeps well, and it’s universally loved. It’s a great deviation from the typical baked item!