I have incredibly fond memories of this caramel corn from my childhood. The recipe originated from my Aunt, but both my mother and grandmother frequently made it for long car rides and as a treat at our lake cabin during the summertime. With no candy thermometer required, it is incredibly simple and requires just a 5 minute timer. Prepare to become addicted.
1 cup unpopped popcorn
1 cup butter
2 cups golden brown sugar (or 1 cup light & 1 cup dark)
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat over to 250 degrees and start preparing your popcorn. An air popper works best, or something that does not require oil to pop the corn. Transfer popcorn to a large roasting pan, being careful to leave kernels behind. Set the roasting pan aside while you make the caramel.
In a medium saucepan, combine butter, light corn syrup and brown sugar. Turn heat to medium and stir occasionally until the mixture starts to bubble. Reduce heat to medium-low and set your timer for 5 minutes, no stirring required during this time. Measure out your salt and baking soda into a small dish and set aside.
I always find this next part to be magical. When the 5 minutes is up, remove the pan from heat and add in the salt and baking soda, stirring pretty quickly to evenly distribute. The hot mixture will begin to foam and double in size with the addition of the baking soda, as well as look much lighter in color. After 10 seconds or so of stirring, work fairly quickly to drizzle the caramel over the popcorn in your roasting pan. Gently fold and work the caramel in to evenly coat. Bake in oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes and stealing a bit at each interval as I do.
Once out of the oven, you can either spread on parchment paper on the counter, or stir every few minutes in the pan while it is cooling to prevent extra large masses from forming.
Dress up in some cellophane baggies and pretty ribbon or twine and placed at each place setting as a dinner party favor or party favor in general. Or plop into a bowl and onto your lap, either will be enjoyed.
I am planning to make this for a Super Bowl treat to sulk my sorrows that the Seahawks season is over. 😦
I hope you find an excuse to make this recipe this week or weekend!
Lastly, today marks my third trimester! (!!!) And I am pretty sold on Hypnobirthing after our first class last week, it leaves me feeling all empowered about the birthing process.