Toffee Popcorn - A Great Christmas Gift

Several years ago at Christmas, when the budget was *really* tight, we decided to make toffee popcorn to give as gifts...and what a hit it turned out to be! We made the popcorn and then packaged it in ziploc bags decorated with stickers...it's actually been requested by several family members in years since! It's a fairly simple recipe, and I wanted to pass it along - hope you'll enjoy as much as we have!

Ingredients:

  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 c butter, softened
  • 1/3 c water
  • popped popcorn (about the equivalent of 2 bags of microwave popcorn)

My husband typically pops the popcorn while I work on the toffee part of the recipe - I recommend dumping the popcorn into one bowl after popping and then transferring by hand to another to ensure that you can eliminate as many unpopped/partially popped kernels as possible. We've used both microwave & air pop popcorn, and both work fine, though my husband was a bigger fan of microwave in this application.

Bring butter and water to a boil over medium heat. Add sugar and stir constantly. I've tried using a candy thermometer with this recipe, but find that keeping a close eye on the mixture is the best method (at least for me!) The candy will boil & thicken and then begin to darken in color and reduce in volume. You're looking for a nice caramel color - if you let it go too long, it will burn. Once your toffee has reached a pretty caramel color, remove it from the heat and pour over the popcorn. Use 2 spoons to toss & mix the popcorn to achieve good coverage. Before the popcorn begins to set, spread it on wax paper to cool.

Be careful at this point - I have burned many a tastebud in my impatience to taste the finished product! And be careful who you invite into the kitchen while you're working...on more than one occasion, we've had...ahem..."spectators" who've eaten at a rate almost equal to our ability to cook the toffee!

For an even more delectable treat, melt chocolate chips in a ziploc bag in the microwave, snip off a corner and drizzle over the toffee popcorn - super delish!

For other great holiday food gift ideas, head on over to Vintage Mommy and check out the other links to delectable holiday goodies - I know there are several I already have on my list to try!