Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chewy Caramel Popcorn and Pretzel Bars

Meet Cassie!  She's my first teacher buddy, and we have been through thick and thin together, had lots of Starbucks, partied at Christmas, and packed and moved me in less than two days...she's just as cute as she is sweet, makes adorable apron tops and cloth napkins, and her cooking skills, I bet, were inherited from her momma...who feeds friends upon friends...even still.  Oh, I love to go over there.  
Thanks for stopping in, Cass!

Thank you, Trina, for letting me share my treat with you and your birdies! 

Last night, my brother and I made Chewy Caramel Popcorn and Pretzel Bars. Making caramel for the first time was so fun. We watched the sugar boil until it became an amber color, then poured in the cream. Magic! We added Reese's Pieces to the top for color and flavor. This is definitely a treat that requires flossing afterward!


Nonstick cooking spray

12 cups plain popped popcorn (from 1/2 cup kernals or 2 microwave packages)
4 cups coarsely chopped small salted pretzels
2 cups sugar
coarse salt
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup of Reese's Pieces candies

1. Coat a 9 x 13" baking dish with cooking spray.  In a large bowl, toss together popcorn and pretzels.  In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup water to a boil over medium high.  Boil, undisturbed, until mixture is amber in color--8-12 minutes.  Remove pan from heat and slowly pour in cream (mixture will sputter).  Immediately add marshmallows; stir until melted.

2. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and pretzels and quickly stir with a rubber spatula to coat.  Transfer mixture to dish and use a piece of plastic wrap coated with cooking spray to press evenly into dish.  Sprinkle with coarse salt and/or Reese's Pieces if desired.  Let cool completely before cutting into bars.

Store bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.


Cassie Cakes

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