I recently asked a couple of my friends to share caramel corn recipes with me since my son was having his 7th birthday party soon (thank you Jaime and Stephanie.) I thought that it would be a good thing to have to give as party favors for my adult family members. I got a few suggestions but it all seemed so intimidating for some reason. Molten sugar is no laughing matter! I mean, that must be the reason why stores sell it for so much money, right?? In any case, I decided to look over all the recipes I had and just go for it. I am so glad I did. OH MY GOODNESS!!! This is seriously awesome stuff. I will never buy it again! My kids are already requesting it for their class parties. Now that is a very good sign! I hope you will give it a shot. One of my friends said that she packages it up and gives it to her neighbors as Christmas gifts. I could see that as making me a VERY popular neighbor. Haha. Sounds like a plan to me!
(The way I did it)
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Pop 24 cups (6 qts) of popcorn (don't salt it,) set aside.
2 sticks butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/3 cup light karo syrup
Melt the butter and add the sugar and syrup. Bring to boil and cook on high heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. (No need to measure the temperature. Yay!!)
Take off the heat and add:
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Stir to combine and keep stirring until the baking soda fizzes up and the mixture gets fluffy. (That happens pretty fast, so be prepared with your popcorn.)
Pour over the popcorn mixture and stir until the pieces are coated. Try to break up any giant lumps as you can.
Place the popcorn on a giant jelly roll pan and spread it out.
Put it in the oven for about 60 minutes, checking on it every 15 minutes to separate the pieces. (That process made it kind of crackly and yummy and then it didn't really stick to my fingers or teeth at all. A definite good thing!)
Take it out and allow it to cool. Package it up and give it away! (or eat it yourself. I won't tell...)