Awhile back, I asked some of you on Facebook what cupcakes you’d like me to create.
I guess you are some partying people, because a lot of you asked for Fair/Carnival themed cupcakes for birthdays.
Obvi, these aren’t cupcakes, but after making the Funnel Cake Cupcakes, I got to thinking that you might like other foods to go with the cupcakes at your carnival party. We’re sticking with desserts, because duh.
Don’t most people like desserts to go with their desserts?
A couple of years ago, I made some marshmallow popcorn bars that were actually really good. And then it hit me the other day — CARAMEL CORN Popcorn Bars. Is there a better combination than popcorn and marshmallow?
Wait. Don’t answer that.
Anyways — these are so incredibly good and PERFECT for a circus/carnival themed party. And they’re as simple as whipping up some caramel corn, melting some marshmallows and butter, and giving it all a good stir.
I know some of you will ask if you can just use store bought caramel corn and the answer is a resounding NOOOOOO. Boxed caramel corn has it’s place in life, and while it’s acceptable in tons of different situations, these bars are NOT one of those situations. Make the homemade stuff. Better times infinity.
This makes a large, party sized recipe — the equivalent of about 2 9×13 pans. Feel free to half both the caramel corn recipe AND the marshmallow for the bars, OR make the whole caramel corn recipe and use half for bars and eat the other half plain.
(Ain’t nothin wrong with a big bowl of caramel corn on a Sunday night. Just saying)
OR make the whole recipe and feed lots o’ people. Glad I’m not complicated!!
- Carmel Corn:
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 bags natural style microwave popcorn
- 1 large bag (16 oz) mini marshmallows
- 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter
- Preheat oven to 250. Place popcorn in a large roasting pan (I like to use a huge disposable aluminum one OR a disposable steam tray pan -- I wash out and reuse but they're cheap and great for keeping around for this recipe)
- In a medium sized saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir brown sugar and corn syrup and stir until boiling. Boil without stirring for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla. It will bubble up, lighten in color and seem to thicken -- this is normal.
- Pour the mixture over the popcorn and stir with a very large spoon to coat as evenly as possible. Place pan in the oven and bake for an hour, stopping to stir every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Break into small pieces.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter and marshmallows over medium low heat. Pour over caramel corn and stir to coat. Spoon mixture into 2 buttered 9x13 pans OR another large roasting/steam table pan. Press down with buttered hands to firmly pack it in. Let it cool completely before cutting into bars and serving.
Caramel corn recipe adapted from allrecipes
These are sweet and not for the faint of heart, but OM Goodness, so stinkin’ good.
Enjoy and have a great Monday!!