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Friday
Dec042015

Caramel Popcorn

Caramel Corn

  • 12 cups popped popcorn (about 1/2 cup kernels or about two bags of microwave popcorn)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (omit if using salted microwave popcorn)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Place the popped popcorn into a big bowl, one that is at least twice the volume of the popcorn itself. Do not err on the side of a bowl that is too small, because you are going to do some serious stirring in a bit. Remove any un-popped kernels and set aside.

STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS: Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring enough to blend.

Once the mixture begins to boil, boil for 5 minutes while stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. You’ll get a little show here as the vanilla will “sizzle” while the baking soda gets all foamy and gorgeous. Make sure the mixture is stirred very well, then immediately pour over the popcorn.

Stir well to coat all of the popcorn. Keep stirring. A little more … there, that ought to be about right.

MICROWAVE INSTRUCTIONS: Cut the butter into chunks and place in a microwave-safe bowl along with the brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir well to combine. Microwave on high for an additional 2 minutes.

Remove bowl from microwave and stir very well. Return to microwave and heat for 2 more minutes on high. Remove from microwave and stir in vanilla and baking soda. It will make popping sounds and get light and foamy. After stirring, immediately pour over the popcorn in the bowl. Stir well to coat all of the popcorn.

Whichever method you’ve followed, now spread the coated popcorn on one large or two smaller cookie sheets, breaking up any clumps. Bake at 200 F for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread out on waxed paper and allow to cool.