Christmas gifts for 10 teachers? Tins of caramel corn.
Bake sale to raise money for a 5th grade sailing trip? Individual bags of caramel corn.
A thank-you gift because you just hooked me up with a coveted parking spot at my daughter’s middle school? An entire batch of caramel corn all to yourself!
I’m like Oprah handing out cars except I’m yelling, “You get some caramel corn! You get some caramel corn!” You get some caramel corn!” (Don’t act like you didn’t read that last sentence in your best Oprah voice.) This AH-MAZING caramel corn is a little time consuming but is is oh-so easy and most definitely worth the smiles and happiness you bring to your friends and family.
Caramel Corn Recipe
7 quarts plain popped popcorn
1 cup butter
2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
optional: 2 cups peanuts, almonds, cashews, or any other nut
Pop your popcorn. You can use whatever method you like. I’m sure stove top popcorn would be even more delicious but, for me, my microwave serves it’s purpose nicely. After the corn is popped pick out any un-popped kernels. Not only is it harder to see the kernels but it is also much harder to pick out the kernels once the carmel has been added.
Put popcorn in greased baking pan. If adding peanuts, almonds, or any other nut this is the time to add them. With all the nut allergies out in the world I make my carmel corn plain and it is still a big hit.
Heat your over to 250 degrees. While your oven is heating up prepare the carmel sauce. Over medium heat, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Once the sauce is boiling, boil for 5 minutes while continuously stirring the mixture.
Remove mixture from heat. Add baking soda and vanilla. The final mixture will be light in color and a foamy, bubbly texture.
Immediately pour caramel over popcorn. Stir to coat popcorn and spread mixture throughout the pan. Don’t stress if there are areas without caramel. Eventually it will all be covered in yummy gooeyness.
Here’s the time consuming part. Bake for 1 hour, stirring the popcorn every 15 minutes to disperse the caramel more evenly.
After an hour, remove popcorn from pans and allow to cool completely on wax paper.
Eat this awesomeness or be responsible and store caramel corn in an air tight container.
2 bags of 3.5 oz of microwave popcorn equals about 7 quarts of popped popcorn.
Lining your pan with foil or using a foil baking pan makes for an easier clean up. (I apparently like to wash dishes, as I never do either of these.)
Double or triple the recipe, but don’t kid yourself, one batch is never enough.