Monday, May 20, 2013

Baby Shower Favor (Instructions)

My soon-to-be-mother-sister (unecessary?) had her (probably fourth) babyshower today, and I was designated to make a favor for guests to take home with them. Just to clarify, I was told: "you must make your bacon caramel popcorn for party favors". So I obeyed, and here is what the end result was!

I was very pleased with these! The tag says:      
About to POP! Please enjoy this caramel bacon popcorn while considering Erin's upcoming delivery."

I made about 22 of them, and here is how I did it!

Bacon Caramel Popcorn: yield 22 1/2 cup servings (approx.)


- Corn Kernels (I recommend using something other then Orville, since it's owned by Monsanto...)
- 2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
- 3/4 stick unsalted Butter
- 10 strips of bacon
- 3 Tbsp. corn syrup
-3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- Sea Salt
- 1/4 Tsp. Baking Soda
-1/4 Tsp. Vanilla


Cook your bacon until crisp. I like to do it in the oven on a baking stone at 400 for about 12 minutes (to avoid splatters and stove cleanup!). If you use the oven, set it to 250 F afterwards. 

1 ) For the popcorn: Using a very large pot, add your oil and turn on medium-high heat. Add 2 kernels and wait for them to pop. If your oil starts smoking, turn down your heat and wait for it to subside. Once your kernels have popped, add about 1/2 cup of kernels. I never really measured to determine this, but 1/2 cup seems about right. If you don't get enough popcorn...just pop more!

Keep the lid on your pot while popping, to avoid getting burned by hot pieces. I like to keep it vented, though, so condensation doesn't drip back on the finished product. Spread your popcorn out on through baking sheets, it won't be quite a single layer, but close. 

2) Crumble your bacon strips evenly over the three sheets of popcorn.

3) For the Caramel: Add butter to a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Melt completely and then add the corn syrup and brown sugar. Stir until dissolved (although it may seems a little buttery around the edges). After dissolved, let it sit and bubble around the edges. After about 4 minutes, the whole pot should have bubbles and have an inconsistent color. If it doesn't bubble enough to reach the center, turn up the heat slightly. Take off the heat and add the baking soda and vanilla. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon while it becomes a lighter brown and magically expands. Using your spoon, ladle the caramel over the popcorn on your baking sheets and try to spread it out evenly. After it's all doled out, carefully stir around the popcorn to coat. Don't worry about getting it perfect, it will become distributed in the oven. 

4) Bake! Put your popcorn in the oven and set the timer for 15 min. After that time, stir the popcorn around to coat the caramel. Do this twice for a total of 30 min. This is actually an important step, because it also makes the popcorn crispier and fully coated with sweetness. After it's done I usually sprinkle a touch of sea salt over the whole thing. 

To make the packaging!

You will need:

-Clear cellophane
-Parchment paper
-Tag (optional)

1.) Cut straight down the parchment paper so you have two even halves, and make the rectangles about 12 inches long. Wrap them up so they make a cone shape, and fold the tip under to keep it from un-rolling. 

2.) Cut the Cellophane as a rectangle that is about 12 inches wide by 16 inches long. Wrap the cellophane around the parchment cone so that there is extra cellophane at the tip. 

3.) Tie a bow around the tip of the cellophane (but not grabbing onto the parchment tip). 

4.) Fill the popcorn into the parchment cone, and use ribbon to gather the excess cellophane at the mouth of the cone and tie off. 

Voila! I did these in steps, i.e., cut out all the parchment and cellophane rectangles, folded all the cones, wrapped all the cellophane, THEN filled and tied off everything. It seemed to take less time that way. Regardless this takes about an hour to do. 

It looks super cute though!! Everyone LOVED this favor. Not to brag or anything ;)

Here's the tag I printed, cut out, and slipped onto the ribbon:


No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to share your thoughts!