This recipe from Judy Reynolds of Bloomington, Indiana, was the $10,000 winner in our first Best of the Midwest cook-off. Start with a Hoosier staple--popcorn--and stir together these sweet-salty snack bars. Homemade caramel sauce helps makes them a standout.

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Ingredients

Directions

  • Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan; set pan aside. In a very large bowl, toss together the kettle corn, toffee pieces and pecans; set aside.

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For caramel sauce:

  • In a small saucepan combine the corn syrup, condensed milk, brown sugar, butter, and granulated sugar. Bring mixture to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and boil gently, uncovered, for 6 go 8 minutes or until the caramel sauce is a light golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour caramel sauce over kettle corn mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until coated. Transfer mixture to prepared pan, pressing firmly into pan using the back of the wooden spoon or a large piece of waxed paper.

  • Spread melted chocolate over kettle corn mixture. If you like, drizzle with caramel topping. Sprinkle with sea salt. Chill for 45 to 60 minutes or until chocolate is set. Use foil to lift kettle corn mixture from pan. Use a sharp knife to cut into bars, wiping blade with wet paper towels.

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Place chocolate pieces in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cook on 50 percent (medium) power for 2 to 3 minutes or until chocolate is just melted, stirring twice.

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To make cutting easier, wipe blade of knife with wet paper towels frequently.

Nutrition Facts

297 calories; 17 g total fat; 15 mg cholesterol; 258 mg sodium. 37 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein;

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