Caramel corn is quite easy to make, just don't attempt to make it (or any candy) on a humid day. Be careful as the caramel sauce is quite hot; as a safety precaution do not have children running underfoot while making this recipe.
- 4-5 quarts popped popcorn (a double batch of this popcorn recipe, unsalted, unbuttered), any un-popped kernels removed
- 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups salted peanuts (optional)
1 Pre-heat oven to 225°F. Place already popped popcorn in large roasting pan; set aside.
2 Bring sugar, butter, corn syrup, molasses, salt to a boil: Combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, molasses and salt in a thick-bottomed, 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a full boil.
3 Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until candy thermometer reaches 250°F or small amount of mixture dropped in ice water forms a hard ball (about 12 to 14 minutes).
4 Remove from heat; stir in baking soda. The caramel will foam up a little and turn a lighter color when you add the baking soda.
5 Carefully pour hot mixture over the popcorn in a large roasting pan. (If you would like peanuts with your popcorn, sprinkle the salted peanuts over the caramel sauce at this point.)
Using a wooden spoon, stir until all popcorn is coated. (Be careful not to let the caramel touch you; it's very hot.)
6 Cook in oven: Place in the 225°F oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, stir to more evenly coat the popcorn with the caramel sauce.
Return to oven. Continue cooking for 20 minutes more.
7 Remove from oven. Immediately spread caramel corn out onto parchment paper or a Silicone mat. Let cool completely. Break into bite-sized pieces. Store in tightly covered container.