This highly addictive treat was introduced to my family by our neighbor. I'm sure there are various ways to make caramel corn, this method seems easy and the results are tasty!
Step 1: Ingredients
1 C. unpopped popcorn (makes about 5 quarts popped)
2 C. brown sugar
1 C. butter
1/2 C. corn syrup (we used 'light' the original recipe calls for 'dark')
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Handful of peanuts (optional).
Popcorn popper, large roasting pan, a couple wooden spoons, 2 qt sauce pan and waxed paper.
Step 2: Lets Begin
Pop the corn. We like the Hello Kitty popper, others might like an air popper...its all good. Once popped, take the time and make sure all the flopcorn is removed. Those unpopped kernels can cause an unplanned visit to the dentist!
Step 3: Making the Caramel
Combine the Brown Sugar, Butter, Corn Syrup and Salt. Once all melted together, bring this gooey goodness to a boil and hold the boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the Baking Soda (this will cause the mixture to foam). Keep stirring while the foam builds. Next, pour evenly over the popped corn. Mix as well as you can...don't worry about total coverage, it will even out in the next step.
Step 4: Oven Stage
Bake in a preheated oven at 250 degrees for 15 minutes. Take out and stir. Back into the oven for another 15 minutes and stir. You can experiment at this stage. The original recipe calls for a total of 4 cycles (1 hour). For some, this might be too long. I have found out that after one cycle, the caramel is "more chewy" but the flavor is not quite there. The longer you keep the popcorn in the oven, the more brittle it will be and the sugars will take on a more "burnt" caramel flavor. It is up to you! We usually pull ours after 3 cycles (45 minutes). You can add peanuts at an time during this stage.
Step 5: Finish
Cool on waxed paper. Don't waste any time getting from the oven to the waxed paper...the caramel has a tendency to harden. Tip: get water into that pan as soon as you have the caramel corn out and onto the waxed paper...if you wait too long, you might be looking for an Instructable on how to remove "barnacle like caramel" from a pan.
From what we hear, it can be frozen...ours has never lasted long enough to consider sticking in the freezer.
Thanks for checking out this Instructable!