Sunday, July 16, 2017

Jalapeño* Crack Puff Corn (*optional!)

Are you ready for the most addictive, amazing, easiest snack you've ever tried?! It's like puffs of toffee with a hint of heat on a melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Jalapeno Crack Corn

The jalapeño is optional. You can make this without any heat, and it will be just as addictive. There's even a few variations I'll list at the end, because you can really do so much with additional flavors.

So we were visiting a friend at his work recently and we toured a nearby boutique with him because he knew I'd love it, the kind with all the crafty vendors, and on sample was the most AMAZINGLY ADDICTIVE snack I've ever had. I bought two bags. Then we went back a few days later and bought two more bags. But they weren't cheap, and so I realized that if we were going to keep enjoying "crack corn", that I needed to learn to make it myself.

But believe it or not, this is one recipe that Pinterest hasn't kicked around the world five times over yet. It was a little hard to track down the right way to do it, and no one had recipes that included jalapeños. I had to trial and error it and figure it out myself. So here I go...here's my recipe:

Jalapeno Crack Corn

Even finding the puff corn was a bit tricky at first. This is NOT popcorn. It's like what Pirate's Booty is made out of. But you want to get either plain unflavored, or butter. Either will work just fine. But I couldn't find it at regular grocery stores around here, like our Kroger store. I eventually found two varieties at Walmart. Either Great Value or Chester's. Just don't buy the cheese flavor. Unless you're into that kind of thing...

Also needed is baking soda, butter, jalapeños*, corn syrup, and brown sugar.

Jalapeno Crack Corn

It's easy as pie, you just melt 1 cup of butter with 1/2 cup of corn syrup and 1 cup brown sugar.

Jalapeno Crack Corn

If you like a hint of heat with your sweet, chop up two jalapeños (seeds discarded of course) and toss that in there too.

Jalapeno Crack Corn

This will give you MILD heat. Trust me, it's not much at all. You can even add more pepper flavor by tossing a bit of a green hot sauce in there. It's up to you. I like a lot of heat, but my kids are still sensitive to it.

Jalapeno Crack Corn

Bring it to a boil and boil for two minutes. When two minutes is up, add in one teaspoon of baking soda and stir it in. It will foam up on you, this is good. This is what we want.

Jalapeno Crack Corn

Pour it all over the puff corn, which you should have ready in a roasting pan.

Jalapeno Crack Corn

And toss it really well to coat.

Jalapeno Crack Corn

Pop it in the oven at 250 degrees for 30 minutes. IMPORTANT: toss it every 10 minutes or so until it's done. The caramel will drip to the bottom a bit, and pieces left up at the top heat will become darker with a toffee-like finish if it's not well tossed occasionally.

Jalapeno Crack Corn

When it's done, immediately turn it out onto wax or parchment paper on your counter. It cools quickly, so break up any large pieces stuck together pretty quickly.

Jalapeno Crack Corn

And then watch it disappear.

Jalapeno Crack Corn

Or, before it has a chance to disappear, bag it up cute to give it away. I gave it as teacher's gifts at the end of our homeschool enrichment program year.

Jalapeno Crack Corn

It makes a great gift. In fact, it's better to give it away before you can inhale it all yourself. Because you will, if given the chance. You will.

Jalapeno Crack Corn

I mentioned flavor options so here are some I've seen that might be just as yummy as jalapeño!

- Sea salt, lightly sprinkled on at the end while cooling
- Sriracha, a squirt or two into the melting butter and sugar
- Cinnamon sugar, tossed on at the end
- Maple, syrup or extract added during the melting butter phase
- Toffee, let the stuff bake a little longer, tossing a little less
- Peanut butter, google this, because I know I saw it somewhere

OR, just go plain old caramel flavor! It's delicious either way. The crunch combined with the melt-in-your-mouth puff corn is such a treat.
Jalapeno Crack Corn

RECIPE:

8 oz puff corn {Great Value brand is 4.5 oz/bag, so just shy of two bags is perfect}
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 jalapeño, diced (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Pour corn puffs into roasting pan or large oven safe dish.
2.  Melt the butter, sugar, and corn syrup together in a saucepan. Add the jalapeño while melting, and any additional desired hot sauce. Bring to boil and boil for two minutes.
3. Add baking soda and stir in until combined and foamy. Immediately pour foamy caramel all over puff corn. Toss well to coat as much of the puff corn as possible.
4. Bake puff corn in oven for 30 minutes, tossing every ten minutes until done. Pour out onto parchment or wax paper and cool, breaking up large pieces stuck together.
Enjoy!

Cheers,
Heather
Blogging tips