Happy Halloween!Caramel Corn. Just screams Fall, doesn't it? My husband makes an annual deer hunting trek to the woods of Pennsylvania in the hopes of bringing home a trophy buck. I have made bags of this caramel corn for him and his buddies for the last few years and while he hasn't brought home that trophy yet, he does always bring back stories of how the popcorn was gone long before they hit the woods.
Caramel corn, or caramel popcorn if you prefer, is surprisingly easy to make at home. It's also easy to personalize with your favorite add-ins. I generally add in some type of nut to the caramel, but you could easily add in pretzels, dried fruit, or bits of your favorite chocolate(s). This is the perfect recipe for holiday gift giving.
Pop (pun intended) handfuls of this into a cute tin or decorative jar and you have an easy and inexpensive holiday gift to give teachers, neighbors, and co-workers. Homemade is always better and almost always less expensive. If you use old-fashioned bagged popcorn you can make a huge batch of this for very little money. If convenience is more important, I have used unsalted microwave popcorn (about three bags) with great results.
Whether it be for Halloween, snuggling up to a movie on a cool Fall afternoon, or for making easy and inexpensive holiday gifts, give this one a try!
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 quarts popped popcorn
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Place popcorn in a very large bowl.
Line two large shallow cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silpat.In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a bowl, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn stirring to coat. Turn popcorn out onto cookie sheets and spread out.
Bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces. Note: If adding in nuts, I suggest adding them to the caramel before you pour it over the popcorn. Other adds in should be added after removing it from the oven and letting it cool slightly.