Remember the Calgon commercials from thirty years ago? Calgon, take me away! Well, I don’t need over-scented soap to make the day more manageable when the four year old asks for dental floss out of blue after playing quietly for just a few minutes too long, or when the 17-month-old won’t take a nap. No, all I need to unwind in the middle of the afternoon is kettle corn. Sweet and salty, crunchy and filling; kettle corn makes me happy.
For years, I didn’t get the draw. Whenever I went to big events, there was always a kettle corn vendor, and I just didn’t understand the appeal. Popcorn, without butter, and not very salty? No thanks. Then, I had kettle corn when I was pregnant with Little Guy. Nothing like pregnancy to make a girl appreciate a good combination of salt and sugar.
Since I’m no fan of crowds, I try to avoid the types of events that draw the kettle corn vendors though, so I’ve had to learn to make it myself. I’ve been making it at home for several months now, but I didn’t share it with you because, unless I was very careful, I kept burning the sugar. Then, The Kitchn published a piece on making it yourself. Their recipe has more salt and sugar than I like in an everyday snack, but it did help me figure out what I was doing wrong. I was adding the corn, sugar and salt when the oil was still cold instead of getting the oil to the correct temp first. Once I made that small change, my kettle corn became something the pros could sell. I love topping it with a light sprinkle of cinnamon sugar after it’s all done just to send it over the top. Even with the cinnamon sugar, it’s less sugary than some that I’ve had which makes it a little more appropriate for an afternoon snack. It has a great balance of sweet and salty though. It’s so inviting, so irresistibly sweet and salty, so crunchy that you won’t be able to stop eating it. Enjoy!