Recipe Card: Chocolate Caramel Popcorn

Amassing recipe cards traditionally started with the bridal shower, when guests were asked to share their favorite recipes with the nearlyweds. Nowadays you can find any recipe at the click of a button; no more "I know it's in here somewhere, I wrote it on the back of a napkin!" (Mom). While your recipe box might not be overflowing with the handwritten cards (or napkins) from yesteryear, we're hanging on to the idea by offering our very own monthly recipe card column. We'll be featuring easy, yummy, beautiful recipes for you to add to your collection, however you choose to store it.

If you've been searching for simple homemade favors for your upcoming wedding or a crowd-pleasing treat this holiday season, look no further. The folks at the Fairmont-Olympic Hotel were kind enough to share their secret for this easy and satifsying snack. While we think it'd be perfectly popular set out in a bowl on cocktail or reception tables, the Fairmont took it one step further by smartly packaging this salty and sweet treat in adorable glass jars for guests to take home. Taking a cue from the Fairmont, wrap with ribbon and add a catchy "Thanks for popping by" tag, and you have yourself a personalized, thoughtful favor for guests to enjoy post-festivities.

popcorn

*Makes roughly 6 quarts of caramel corn, fills 15-20 12oz jars

1 cup butter

2 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup corn syrup

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 quarts popped popcorn

1 cup toasted hazelnuts (or any nut)

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

20 12oz mason jars (use Weck jar for a more unique, rustic, high end look)

Paper, canvas, etc. of choosing

Bakers twine

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (95 degrees C). Place popcorn in a very large bowl. Stir in hazelnuts (if untoasted hazelnuts are purchased, place hazelnuts on cookie sheet and put in oven for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown).

2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.

3. Place in two large shallow baking dishes and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

4. In a small saucepan, melt chocolate. Once caramel corn is completely cooled, put melted chocolate in decorating bag and drizzle over the top of popcorn. Once chocolate is fully cooled, break caramel popcorn into pieces.

5. Place caramel popcorn in jars. Cut paper into squares and use bakers twine to tie paper around the top of the jar. Tie fun tag or label on using twine.