As my third of twelve posts counting down until the Salisbury 2011 BBQ Festival I'm taking a wee break from the BBQ and looking into one of North Carolina's other special flavors: Cheerwine! If you're not familiar with Cheerwine let me stop you before you get the wrong idea: it's not wine that makes you cheerful. But who wouldn't love that? Cheerwine is actually a cherry flavored soda that just happens to be made by the oldest continually run family operated soft drink company in America. Since 1917. There's a bit of trivia I bet you didn't know! On top of the soda, they also make an ice cream syrup, and I think we all know how I feel about ice cream, and cherries. :) This was a perfect idea for a blogger like me!
Want to try some? I have a not-very-secret-website to help you find it! It's got the all too creative name of: cheerwinefinder.com!
Once you get your hands on some I hope you try out the Cheerwine flavored caramel corn!
Cheerwine Caramel Corn
created for the Salisbury 2011 BBQ Festival
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup cheerwine ice cream syrup
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 quarts popped popcorn
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Place popcorn in a very large bowl.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, cheerwine syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.
Place in two large shallow baking dishes and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for half an hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces.