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Corn Puff Toffee Treat

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

I personally call this recipe “Christmas Crack” due to it being so addictive! The original recipe used Kix puff corn. I had searched for Kix but my local market didn’t carry it. I searched online but too many people had said they reacted to Kix; it was also not labeled gluten-free. Ingredients are simply puffed corn, oil and salt-baked to a very light, crispy, quite boring cereal.  In previous years, I had bought a huge red bag of caramel corn drizzled with white and dark chocolate from Costco but this is seasonal and not easily found throughout the year. 

So this is my easily prepared, homemade version. Spoil your Valentine or family during February! It will last a few weeks if stored in Ziploc bags.

In my experience, it gets eaten within a week. It’s so addicting!

Preparation

  • 1 bag of puffed corn of your choosing. Kix puffed corn is popular but it isn’t certified gluten-free. 
  • 1 cup (8 oz) butter
  • 1 and 1/4 cups light brown sugar – I didn’t pack the sugar so it was (we thought) less sweet than a commercial bag of caramel corn and we preferred it.
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup – corn syrup is not the same as high fructose corn syrup. In the UK, I would use Lyle’s Golden Syrup which is what we always used for toffee, steamed puddings etc. It’s tasty and not made from corn, but cane sugar. It is available in some regular grocery stores.
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ to 1 cup of chopped pecans -optional
  • Chocolate chips – optional

How to Cook

  1. Combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in a large saucepan. (I used an 8-quart stock pan as it makes a lot and needs space to stir in the corn.)  Heat till melted. 
  2. Add in baking soda, I whisked it in so no lumps of baking soda, mixture foam up.
  3. I added puffed corn with pecans to a large stockpot containing butter mix. Stir really well, there’s a lot, the sauce is sticky and uncooperative. 
  4. I lined the jelly roll pan with foil, others recommended using a turkey roaster.  Place in a 250° oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.  A turkey roasting pan would be far easier to stir as it’s deep compared to a jelly roll pan, but persevere. It stays soft until almost the end of cooking and really crisps up when cold. Let cool, then break apart and enjoy!!  My husband remarked on how crispy it was.  
  5. I sprinkled white chocolate chips and some heath bar chocolate chips on top. You can also melt and drizzle white and semi-sweet chocolate over the top.

This recipe almost filled 2 large Ziploc bags. It makes a lot!

You can find Chef Oonagh Williams at Gluten-Free Cooking with Oonagh on Facebook, LinkedIn or her website. Chef Oonagh has a culinary arts degree, celiac disease and other food allergies. Remember most real food is naturally gluten-free until manufacturers ‘mess’ around with it and only baking really needs changing.

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