Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Low-sugar caramel corn clusters

Sticky Stuff:
Dry Stuff: 
  • 2-3 cups puffed unsweetened corn
    • This can usually be found at whole foods or similar health food stores. I've also used corn pops cereal when puffed corn couldn't be found
  • 1/2 cup rolled or quick oats, whatever you have laying around
    • I also add 1/4 to 1/3 cup quinoa flakes if I have them
  • 1 cup crispy rice cereal
  • 1/2 to 1 cup very roughly chopped almonds (or whole, if lazy)
    • I use closer to a cup, I like the extra crunch
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/3 cup oat bran
    • Wheat bran can also be substituted, or omitted completely

Preheat oven to 300F, and prepare a sided baking sheet with a silicone baking liner or greased aluminum foil. 

Unwrap all candies and place in a small saucepan with all "sticky stuff" ingredients except butter and vanilla, over low heat until melted, stirring every few minutes with a rubber spatula. 

While "sticky stuff" is melting, gather and measure all "dry stuff" ingredients into a large bowl.

When all candies are fully melted, remove saucepan from heat and add 1/4 cup butter and 1 tsp vanilla extract, stirring until butter is fully melted and incorporated. 

Pour "sticky stuff" over "dry stuff", stirring while pouring to fully coat. Stir until "sticky stuff" is thoroughly distributed, pour out onto the prepared baking sheet Pat down mixture gently to spread over the entire baking sheet. Immediately put baking sheet in oven, and bake for 15-25 minutes, longer for crispier caramel corn. 

Allow to cool completely (trust me, you don't want to burn your tongue or fingers on hot sugar!) and then crumble into bite-size clusters. Stays crispy for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.