Everyday recipes, life and craziness from Jen's house.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

For Denise: Caramel Popcorn

Last month, I took a double batch of Caramel Popcorn to share with my Bunco group.  At the end of the night, there was still a lot of Caramel Popcorn left, so I sent the leftovers home with my friend Denise.  Her children were coming home from college and I knew the popcorn would be gone in a flash!

Denise and her beautiful family

Over the holiday's, I made 3 or 4 double batches of Caramel Popcorn...and it was all gone in a flash.  It's great to snack on, and fairly easy to make.  One thing you do need is a good candy thermometer.  The recipe that I use is out of my tried and true, red plaid cookbook, "Better Homes and Gardens:  New Cookbook."  I've altered the recipe just a bit (some of you are NOT surprised...I alter most recipes!)

This is what my cookbook looks like

The alteration that I made to the recipe was to add more popcorn.  I didn't want each piece of popcorn covered in caramel, so with more popcorn, a lot of the pieces just get a drizzle of the caramel instead of a bath.  If you like more caramel, feel free to decrease the amount of popped corn!  This is a double recipe and makes a lot.  Feel free to half it if you'd like!  You can also add dry roasted peanuts to the popcorn before drizzling on the hot caramel.

Carmel Popcorn

16-18 cups popped popcorn

1-1/2 c. packed brown sugar
2/3 c. butter
6 T. light corn syrup

1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. vanilla

Remove all unpopped kernels from popped corn (or else you'll break a tooth!)  Place popcorn in 2 greased 9x14 inch pans.

In a heavy 3 quart sauce pan,   (You can use a smaller pan, but I like a bigger one because I'm afraid the hot caramel is going to slop out on me in a smaller pan...so use what you'd like!)  melt the butter and combine the corn syrup and brown sugar.  Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture starts to boil.  clip a candy thermometer on the side of the saucepan.  Cook and stir until 255*, hard-ball stage.  The cookbook says that it takes 4 minutes, but it ALWAYS takes me longer.

After the caramel reaches 255*, remove the saucepan from the heat.  Stir in baking soda and vanilla.  This will foam and bubble a bit.  Stir until well combined.  Pour half of the caramel into each of the pans with the popcorn.  I pour the caramel slowly for 2 reasons:  1 I don't want to burn myself...it's HOT! and 2, I've found it's easier to drizzle the caramel on the popcorn...more popcorn gets covered!  Stir the popcorn to coat. 

Bake in a 300* oven for 5 minutes.  Stir and bake 5 minutes longer.  Remove and let cool.  You can break the popcorn into small chunks or leave it in larger chunks...whatever and however you like it!

This is what my mum's cookbook looks like


1 comment:

  1. My mom has that cookbook too. She's had it forever, and still uses it. Thanks for sharing the recipe.