I’ve had a rough day football wise – got destroyed in fantasy, lost all my point spread tickets, Seattle barely scraped out a win against the 49ers … it’s been a tough day in the Barker-Prins house.
So, to cheer myself up I’ve been thinking of things that I love and this homemade caramel corn is right at the top of that list! I got this recipe from my Aunt Val one year at Christmas. In our family, everyone has food and snacks they always bring to family Christmas and this corn is now on that list. Keep reading for the super easy recipe. It can cheer up even the most dreadful football days.
What you need:
2 cups of packed brown sugar
1 cup of butter or margarine
1/2 cup of corn syrup
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
30 cups of air popped corn (1 1/2 cups of un-popped kernels)
9 tablespoons of vegetable oil (if you’re popping your corn on the stove)
Plus: 3 or 4 large bowls, baking sheets, and tin foil
What you do:
- I pop my popcorn on the stove, although I’m sure an air popper is much easier. If you use an air popper, skip to step 4! To do this, put 3 tablespoons of oil in a large pot with a lid. With the lid slightly ajar to let steam out, add in 3 corn kernels and once they start popping, you know your oil is warm.
- From here, add 1/2 a cup of corn kernels, and with the lid ajar, swirl the pot on the stove to keep the kernels from burning and let it pop for about 25-30 seconds or until the popping stops. Remove from the stove and let it sit for a minute or so and wait for the last few kernels to pop. Measure out into a large bowl – you should have 10 cups.
- Repeat steps one and two twice more or until you have 30 cups of popped corn. Usually only takes me 3 times in total to get the right amount. Also, I know 30 cups of popped corn sounds like a lot but it’s really not!
- In a pot on the stove, turn to medium heat and mix the first four ingredients together (brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt) and heat until it all boils.
- Now add your baking soda and vanilla. Mix well. It should become foamy and light brown in colour.
- Evenly pour the caramel over the popcorn (I usually separate my popcorn into four bowls to make mixing easier). Mix so all the popcorn is covered.
- Pour your caramel corn onto a baking sheets lined with tin foil to avoid it from sticking.
*Tip: I use four baking sheets so the popcorn isn’t piled high. My stove is small so I can only bake two sheets at once making it a longer process, but the final result is better.
- Bake at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
Stirring is very important or the caramel will settle at the bottom of the tray, the popcorn will stick together, and it will come out sticky.
Store in an airtight container (if it’s not devoured straight out of the oven!)