Today I kind of started out with a dark mood (matching the weather on my way to work... how perfect). One of those days where I have to make a conscious effort to keep my default face from looking pissy. You know what I mean? After who knows how long, you realize your brows are furrowed, your lip is slightly curled, and your nostrils are flaring ever so slightly and quickly reset to something more pleasant. "Oops! I hope no one saw that face and thought I hated the world/disapproved of them/pooped myself! Better reset to... thoughtful!". It almost always happens twice - sometimes even three times - and then it becomes something that makes me actually feel pissy, and thus the face is now more appropriate because there's a legit reason. Stupid, vicious circle.
But there are people who seem to be able to break through your default stink-face when you're having a low sort of day. It may not be anything in particular that they're doing, outside of just paying attention to you and helping you focus on whatever it is you should be focusing on (like your work and not your stink face). It's therapeutic and the best kind of help for your mood. Suddenly several hours have passed and you realize you've actually been smiling - not scowling - and you feel like you've rejoined the human race again.
It's been one of those kind of days for me. Yup. Sure has.
What would I have done if I hadn't gone to work and been soothed by the tasks and people within? Probably stuffed my face with sweet, crunch, succulent caramel corn and read myself to sleep on the couch. We all have our things.
Fortunately, I can make this caramel corn whenever the mood strikes, and in different forms, depending on my stinky-face mood. This recipe happens to be the current crack of the month - deeply rich caramel is tossed with toasted coconut, almonds, and of course... popcorn. The bounty this recipe makes will last you for at least a week - and that's if you share it with others. But you could also make this your breakfast, lunch, and dinner if you wanted. Maybe that's your therapy too.
Coconut-Almond Caramel Corn
From Tracy Shutterbean.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup yellow popcorn kernels
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup dry roasted unsalted almonds
2 cups toasted coconut flakes (350 deg, 5-8 minutes)
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
To make the popcorn, heat up the vegetable oil in a large, high-sided, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the corn kernels, place a tight-fitting lid over the pot, and pop the popcorn, shaking the pot often while holding the lid. Pop until the the popping noise subsides and immediately remove from heat and pour into a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Set aside.
In a 9"x13" pan, measure out 7 cups of popcorn out. Top the popcorn with the toasted almonds and coconut. Set aside.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.
To make the caramel, heat up the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt in a heavy-bottom stock pot over medium-high heat. Boil the sugar mixture for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the baking soda. Immediately pour over the popcorn and fold together all the ingredients.
Bake the popcorn (to make it extra crispy!) in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Let cool on waxed paper to dry until completely cool to the touch. Popcorn will keep for up to one week at room temperature in a sealed container.