Caramel Popcorn

I. Love. Popcorn.  Ellen Degenerous has a funny skit about popcorn where she says that American’s have some weird obsession with popcorn, stuffing our faces with HAND FULLS at a time because we can’t just eat 1 kernel like normal people. Truth.

When I lived in Denver, Bre and I would make popcorn probably about 3 times a week as a night time snack. We tended to keep it pretty simple, usually only adding salt (or pepper and garlic in her case), or sometimes I’d experiment with lemon and thyme popcorn and cocoa popcorn. I’ve always loved kettle corn and caramel corn, but never really knew how to make it.

I’ve stumbled across this blog called Sally’s Baking Addiction, the blog where I also made the flourless peanut butter cookies in my previous post, and I’m obsessed! She has a ton of great recipes from snacks to sweets — clearly my favorite. I found this caramel corn recipe and thought that it was pretty easy to do, so I grabbed all the ingredients yesterday and made it last night….there are no words.

I only made 1/2 of the caramel because I wasn’t sure if I’d like it over every inch of popcorn, but I totally would, let’s be honest. It’s not SUPER crunchy but is still firm enough to give you some substance and texture. However, once you start eating it, it just melts in your mouth and becomes a little soft which is very pleasant.

Let’s just say I can’t wait to make this again next weekend!

Ingredients (for 1/2 the caramel):

Popcorn seeds (about 2 tablespoons)
Canola Oil
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/8 cup light corn syrup
1/2 stick unsalted butter
a pinch of cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

First things first, make the popcorn. Sally says that she does it air popped but I just do it on the stove. Grab a large pot and cover the bottom of the pan with enough seeds to just BARELY cover the bottom. Take the oil and add it so that all of the seeds are coated. Swirl the pan around to make sure you get all of them. Turn your stove on to med-high and watch carefully. They will start to sizzle and then all of a sudden POP. You’ll want to wait until  you get about 3/4 of the seeds popped, turn the stove off, and then start shaking the pot. The heat will keep popping the popcorn. Spread onto 2 baking sheets (I used 1). Make sure you separate out the un-popped seeds!! Otherwise you will really hurt yourself when trying to take a big bit (my mistake haha).

For the caramel:

Pre-heat your over to 200 degrees Fahrenheit

Heat the sugar, corn syrup, butter, cream of tartar, and salt on a stove and boil for about 2-3 minutes — make sure you are stirring consistently. After about 2-3 minutes, take off the heat and stir in baking soda really quick! As Sally says, this will add some air bubbles to give you a softer caramel (but not too soft!). Pour over the popcorn and stir until all kernels are covered. Bake for an hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Let it cool on the baking sheet and then EAT IT ALL UP RIGHT AWAY!

I kept finding pieces that had so much caramel on them and kept taking pictures! Look at these! I just want to eat more right now!

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See the original recipe here: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/03/16/grandmas-caramel-corn/

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