corn syrup

Pecan Pie

by Carrie on November 2, 2010

in Desserts,Pies

Pecan pie is my favorite part of Thanksgiving. Without pecan pie it’s not Thanksgiving. Unfortunately I’m about the only family member who feels that way so for the last couple years I’ve been the one making the pecan pie.

This is a recipe from my aunt Ann Winegarden and she has it credited to a woman named Elizabeth Hartman.

Pecan Pie

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup (light works fine too)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans
  1. Mix together and beat one minute. I use the wisk beater on the Kitchenaid and it turns a nice light caramel color and froths up.
  2. Pour into an unbaked pie crust. (Use your favorite crust or if you don’t have a favorite try my pie crust.)
  3. Bake at 325 degrees for 60 minutes. Check at 40 minutes and cover with foil is the crust is getting too brown.

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Popcorn Balls

by Nancy on October 19, 2010

in Candy,Desserts,Snacks

I grew up in a rural area where we knew all of our neighbors. My mom drove me and my brothers and sisters to a few of the neighbors’ houses to go trick or treating. We didn’t have to worry about people we didn’t know tampering with treats so it meant we could have homemade treats – it really was a treat! We made treats for those who came to our house, too. Popcorn balls were a favorite. These make eye-catching treats for bake sales or parties if you can’t pass them out to little goblins and ghosts.

The syrup used to hold popcorn balls together is clear. You can add food coloring to make the balls any color. I leave it clear when making “snowballs” for Christmas but color it orange for Halloween treats.

The syrup used in this recipe is made from sugar and water cooked to a high temperature. The exact temperature determines how hard or soft the candy will be. It works like this. Temperatures around 245 degrees form soft candies like caramels but keep cooking to temperatures around 300 degrees and you get hard candies like peanut brittle. Use a candy thermometer to measure the temperature.

Be careful you don’t get burned by hot syrup when making popcorn balls. Cooked syrup is HOT, much hotter than boiling water, and it sticks to your skin. Heed the precautions below and if you accidentally get hot syrup on your hand, plunge it into cool water immediately. Sacrifice a ball if you have to.

Popcorn Balls

  • 5 quarts popped popcorn
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • food coloring (optional)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
    1. Pop corn and place in 300 degree oven to keep hot and crisp.
    2. Butter sides of 2 quart, heavy bottomed saucepan. Carefully pour sugar into center of pan without getting any crystals on sides. Add remaining ingredients except vanilla being careful not to splash sugar on sides of pan. If the cooked syrup contacts a grain of sugar, it can cause all of the syrup to crystallize giving it a grainy mouth feel.
    3. Insert candy thermometer and cook to 250 degrees (hard ball stage).
    4. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.
    5. Pour one third of syrup evenly over popcorn and toss gently with large spoon or spatula to mix trying not to break popcorn. Repeat two more times until all of syrup is added.
    6. CAUTION – syrup is HOT. Let mixture set 5 minutes to cool. Work next to sink with running water or place bowl of cool water nearby to dip your hands in if syrup sticks and starts to burn. Butter hands and form a baseball sized popcorn ball squeezing so it sticks to itself. If you make it larger than a baseball, it will be too big to wrap in a single square of plastic wrap. Set aside to cool. Form remaining balls buttering hands between each ball.
    7. Wrap each ball in a square of plastic wrap and tie closed with curling ribbon. If weather is hot, store in refrigerator.

      Makes 12 – 15 popcorn balls.

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