Crunchy – check.
Sweet – check.
Salty – check.
Delicious – duhhh.
I absolutely love caramel corn. It certainly is near the top of my list of the best ways to eat popcorn – along with the kettle corn you get at a mid-west apple orchard and poppy chow – yep that stuff certainly can turn a puppy chow lover onto a little bit “healthier” of a snack. But that’s not the showstopper of the day – this caramel corn is. It is very easy to make and really is all about just having your kernels popped and the perfect timing with your caramel coating sauce – yeah I sort of feel like a mad scientist when I get to boil ingredients into a caramel sauce.
Like I said this caramel corn comes together quite quickly and will impress all eaters. And if you wanted to make it a little more reminiscent of a childhood treat that came in a box at the ball game, well then you most certainly could throw some peanuts in the mix (:
Oh yeah – and this treat totally screams FALL!!!! And today is totally the first official day of FALL! @ exactly 3:44pm goodbye summer and delicious blueberries – hello fall and pumpkins.
Recipe: Yields a big roasting pan full – like drown me in it
1/2 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 quarts (20 cups) popped popcorn (I make mine on the stove top and prefer white kernels)
Preheat oven to 250ºF. Spray a roasting pan with cooking spray (or 2 shallow dish pans if you don’t have a roasting pan). Pour popped popcorn into the roasting pan and put in the oven to keep warm while you prep the caramel sauce.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. It will bubble up – this is why you want a medium saucepan and not a small saucepan. At this point remove your popcorn from the oven so that it is on the counter and ready to have caramel poured over it.
Remove the caramel from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla – it will bubble up even more – the point at which you too will feel like a mad scientist. I use a whisk or wooden spoon to stir it up. It will be thinnest for about 30-45 seconds at which you want to thin stream pour it over your popcorn. Mix it up, until all your popcorn has a nice coating.
Put the pan (or pans) back in the oven and bake for 3 15 minutes increments for a total of 45 minutes – stirring every 15 minutes.