Festive Caramel Corn and Rice Krispie Mix

Recipe and photo by Stephanie Le

Serves 4-6

Caramel Corn: 8 cups popped corn (see below) 2/3 cups packed light-brown sugar 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons light corn syrup 6 tablespoons unsalted butter scant 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt 1/2 teaspoon baking soda Rice Krispie Balls: 1 tablespoons butter 1 1/3 cups mini marshmallows 2 cups rice krispies To finish: dried cranberries fresh thyme

Make the caramel corn: Preheat oven to 200°F. Put popcorn in a large bowl and set aside. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture comes to a gentle simmer, about 4 minutes. Stop stirring and continue cooking until mixture lightens in color, 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. The mixture will foam up, so be careful!Pour the caramel mixture over popcorn and working quickly, toss to coat. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring every 20 minutes, until almost dry, about 1 hour. Let cool on sheets completely.While the caramel corn is baking, make the rice krispie balls. Melt the butter over low heat in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Add in the rice krispies and mix well. When slightly cool, lightly butter your hands and shape into small balls. Toss the caramel corn and rice krispie balls together with dried cranberries and fresh thyme, if desired. Enjoy! If not eating right away, hold off on the cranberries and thyme, and add them when needed.

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