August 29, 2012

Chewy Caramel Popcorn and Pretzel Bars

(Cutting my pan of pressed caramel/popcorn/pretzel goodness into ooey-gooey bars...)

(Then, I wrapped each one in foil and stored in a zip top bag in the pantry. It makes it easy to just grab one and throw it in the boy's lunch box in the morning.)

I made and packaged these bars up in foil so my son could take them to school in his lunch. I will admit, I probably ate about three of them in the process! They are so tasty. It's like a salty, sweet, pretzel-y, popcorn-y, Rice Krispie treat...without the Rice Krispies. Does that make sense? No??? Well, you'll have to try 'em to understand what I mean, I guess.

Chewy Caramel Popcorn and Pretzel Bars
From: Martha Stewart, Everyday Food October 2010

Nonstick cooking spray
12 cups plain popped popcorn (from 1/2 cup kernels or 2 microwave packages)
4 cups coarsely chopped small salted pretzels (7.5 ounces)
2 cups sugar
Coarse salt
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 cups miniature marshmallows

Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, toss together popcorn and pretzels. In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup water to a boil over medium-high. Boil, undisturbed, until mixture is amber in color, 8 to 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and slowly pour in cream (mixture will sputter). Immediately add marshmallows; stir until melted.

Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and pretzels and quickly stir with a rubber spatula to coat. Transfer mixture to dish and use a piece of plastic wrap coated with cooking spray to press evenly into dish. Sprinkle with coarse salt if desired. Let cool completely before cutting into 12 bars.

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