The truth is, I hate the smell of popcorn. I remember when I was a teacher, I was pregnant with William, and my classroom was next to the teachers lounge. Almost daily, someone would burn popcorn in the microwave and I would have to smell that awful smell all day. It took me years to even be able to look at popcorn. I don’t even order it at the movies. So that should be a testament as to how delicious this caramel popcorn is.
My friend Kristan makes the best caramel corn in the world (next to Johnson’s of course) and she was kind enough to give me her recipe. I have a new appreciation for how much time she spends every holiday season making caramel corn. She gives big tubs of popcorn to a lucky handful of people, and I have been lucky enough to be a recipient. It is sweet, salty, crunchy, everything that caramel corn should be. It is not hard to make, but if you are going to make a lot, you need to make quite a few batches. This is a perfect holiday gift. Maybe for your little ones Halloween party?
The most challenging part of making this recipe for me was figuring out how to make popcorn. I do not own a microwave. When we moved to Kansas it took me about a week to notice that I did not have one. The last few houses that we lived in all had built-in microwaves. We live in bare bones base housing, no built-ins here. The time that I really miss it is when I need to melt butter or chocolate. And as it turns out, when I need to make copious amounts of popcorn. Instead, I made it the old-fashioned way, on the stove, with only one casualty. And yes, the smell of burnt popcorn almost made me stop right there. But thankfully for you, I carried on.
8 cups popped popcorn (well salted)
3/4 cup brown sugar
6 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Add brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup to a saucepan.
Bring the mixture to a boil and let boil for 5 minutes. Do not stir.
Take the mixture off of the heat and add the vanilla and baking soda.
Pour the caramel over the popped popcorn.
Toss until all of the popcorn is coated.
Spread the popcorn out on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 200 degree oven for 10 minutes.
As the popcorn cools, it will harden.
Scoop into bags (or tins like Kristan does) and get ready to gift to friends.
Thanks Kristan for the recipe and reminding me of the good times that we had together in Nova Scotia.