By Dani Stone
It’s officially fall, so naturally my taste buds are tingling for Honeycrisp apples with big honkin’ mounds of caramel, cinnamon-roasted almonds, anything with pumpkin in the recipe, and assorted candy corn flavors from our local Nifty Nuthouse.
It’s also the time of year when the big holiday trifecta — Hallo-Thanks-Mas — starts barreling toward me. With school parties, office potlucks, and family gatherings headed my way, I should be panicked because of my less-than-stellar baking skills. But I’m not, because I have crack. It’s portable, easy to make once you get the formula just right, and it’s so delicious, I always have people begging for more. Yes, sir, people just love my bags of crack.
And of course by crack, I mean Puff Corn Candy.
I was first introduced to this weird-textured but tasty concoction by my neighbor who loves to make holiday treats. One Halloween she delivered four popcorn balls, one for each person in our family. From the first bite I was hooked. When Doug returned from taking our son trick or treating, I had eaten every last one. Don’t judge. Also, at the time, my daughter was just over a month old and you can’t give popcorn to infants so really, I was being a responsible parent.
The next year she got us all hooked on Puff Corn Candy and now it’s my official go-to treat for all those gatherings at school, church, and Cubicle City.
Before I share the recipe I have two bits of caution for you. I know you’re excited for the crack, but don’t skip ahead, these are important.
- Make sure you always use the Chester’s brand of puffs. This is not the time to skimp or you’ll wind up with corn syrup-flavored packing peanuts.
- Do NOT let the wax paper harden in the pan or on the cookie sheet because it will stick like cement and that will cause you to shout, “EARMUFFS” to the children so you can cuss at high decibels while you scrape and peel the wax paper off.
PUFF CORN CANDY
1 bag Chester’s Puffed Corn (butter flavor)
2 sticks butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white Karo Syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 250 degrees
Spread Puffed Corn in large baking pan or deep cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper.
In sauce pan, bring butter, sugar and corn syrup to boil. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in baking soda. Pour mixture evenly over Puffed Corn. Bake one hour, stirring mixture every 15 minutes.
Let cool, then break up into pieces.
About Dani Stone:
Dani is an author from the great flat state of Kansas. She’s married to her favorite oily beau hunk, and together they’re raising two precocious children who have a wicked sense of humor and smart mouths, courtesy of their mother. She’s a vanilla latte fanatic, carb queen, bookaholic, nervous thumb-picker, Tina Fey fan, nonprofit founder and seafood loather. You can follow her adventures here: www.danistone.net. Her novelette NEXT LEFT is available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.