It's getting to be the time of year that I look for ideas to put in my Christmas baskets. As I was perusing one of my cookbooks today, I found my mom's caramel corn recipe. And I remembered eating is many, many times when I was younger and loving it because it is so delicious. It's really not very difficult and worth the small amount of effort you put in.
Close up of the crunchy goodness.
This has really simple steps.
Add brown sugar, salt and corn syrup.
Bring to a boil and let boil for 5 minutes.
Add vanilla and baking soda, minding that your hands don't get burned in the resulting froth up.
Pour over popped popcorn. Stir.
Place into the oven and stir every 15 minutes. Do this 4 times (or 1 hour if you want to look at it that way).
Voila, caramel corn!
24 cups of popped popcorn
1 cup of butter, melted in a saucepan
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pop corn and set aside in 2 large pans or on a sheet pan. Melt butter and add brown sugar, salt and corn syrup. Bring to a rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. When a rolling boil is reached, let cook for 5 minutes. Do NOT stir. Take off the heat and add baking soda and vanilla. Stir carefully as this will foam up. Immediately pour onto popped corn and stir to combine. Place in 250 degree oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Store in a airtight container.
*NOTES* I have a couple little tidbits here. 1) A rolling boil is when the mixture is boiling and you can no longer stir the bubbles away with the spoon. 2) When you stir the popcorn/caramel mixture together, don't obsess about every. single. kernel of popcorn getting covered. While it is in the oven the caramel melts again and when you stir it, it will cover all the kernels. Just try to get good coverage so that there isn't big clumps of caramel and no corn. 3) When I take the pans out of the oven, I just turn the caramel corn out onto a clean counter. It makes it easier to stir it up and help it cool and it doesn't stick to the pan you cooked it in.