With New Year’s resolutions to lose weight around the corner but still with a houseful of kids and Christmas visitors, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to make a batch of poppycock.
If you’re not familiar with the term “poppycock,” it’s basically caramel popcorn with candied pecans and slivered almonds. Like most of you, I’ve had caramel popcorn through the years—but, until I tasted a homemade version, I never realized how much better caramel popcorn could be. Throw in candied nuts, and you’ve got a real winner on your hands.
Many years ago, I was attending a meeting of my local Mothers of Twins club and a fellow mom brought in a big bowl of poppycock. It was so good that you had to elbow your way in to get yourself some. Despite the fact that I cracked a tooth by biting into an unpopped kernel, it didn’t dissuade me from asking for the recipe. That year, I ended up making poppycock as Christmas gifts for my boss and the neighbors; and everyone told me that they couldn’t stop eating it until it was gone.
I made a huge batch of poppycock a couple of days ago, and it, as usual, was gone in a flash. It is truly and utterly ad-DIC-tive. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
One year ago: Custard Eggnog
Two years ago: Cranberry Apple Spice Cake
Three years ago: Make-ahead Gravy
- 5 quarts popcorn (two batches in my air popper)
- 2 cups whole pecans
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
- 1/2 cup light Karo syrup
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
Use a vegetable spray such as Pam to spray a roasting pan large enough to hold the 5 quarts of popcorn plus nuts. You will need room to stir the mixture (you’ll be doing this several times). Set aside.
Melt butter in a large saucepan (at least a 4-quart pan). Add brown sugar, Karo syrup, and salt. Cook this mixture to a slow boil (soft ball stage), stirring constantly. Add 1/2 tsp. baking soda when it comes to the slow boil. Stir until it expands – it will almost double in size (use large enough pan!). Pour over popcorn mixture.
Bake at 250o F. for 60 minutes. Stir every 15 minutes with a wooden spoon that you have sprayed with Pam. Bake until golden brown. Remove from oven and keep stirring until popcorn cools; otherwise, it will clump.
I have a big ass pan which measures 20x12x4, and I also have a 30″ oven; so I make the poppycock in this one huge pan with plenty of room to stir the popcorn, and it easily fits in my oven. Depending on the size of your oven and pan(s), you may need to cook it in two pans. That being the case, stagger your oven shelves and switch the pans halfway through the baking time.
You can easily just make a half batch of the recipe.
Source: A fellow Mothers of Twins club member