This is one of our family’s favorite recipes. I make it often when I visit the kids, everybody loves this. It’s an old recipe, I remember my Aunt Idalene making it when I was just a little girl. It so easy to make, just be careful when you pour in the baking soda; it foams, and this stuff is hot!
- 24 cups popped yellow popcorn
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 cup butter or margarine
- 2 cups firmly-packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 250F. Coat the bottom and sides of a large roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place popped popcorn in roasting pan. Salt the popcorn lightly. I cook the popcorn in an air popper, so I don’t have additional oil.
In a heavy pan, slowly melt butter; stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Heat to a boil, stirring constantly; boil on medium low heat without stirring for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda and vanilla. Gradually pour over popped popcorn, mixing well. Bake for 1 hour, on the bottom rack of your oven, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven, cool completely. Break apart and store in tightly-covered container.
Yield: about 6 quarts
Notes: The secret to this caramel corn is to stir it often when it’s baking, because the caramel topping melts and runs to the bottom of the pan. If you don’t keep stirring, it just puddles at the bottom.
When you take it out of the oven, immediately put it on sheets of waxed paper that you’ve put on your countertop. Then let it cool for just a bit and break apart. If you leave it in the roaster pan, it will stick to the bottom and you will have a mess.
Also immediately immerse your roaster pan in water for easy cleanup. Do the same as soon as you empty your saucepan of the caramel syrup, or you will have a sticky gooey mess to deal with.