Oven-Made Caramel Corn
If you click on my Home page you will see that there are 3 blog categories featured right at the top, one of them being "Food". Sadly, it is empty because I have yet to post one recipe. It's not because I'm not cooking, sometimes it feels like that's all I do! (Get up, make breakfast, clean-up breakfast, make lunch, clean-up lunch, make dinner, clean-up dinner, rinse and repeat...) But, I'm still trying to figure this blog thing out and trying to see what works here and what doesn't. So I figured, it's time to give this a try!
In my opinion, cooking is something you have to do, but baking is for fun. I love it! I would just feed my kids bread and desserts all the time if I could. That's why I never lose weight!
The other day my kids were begging me to make caramel corn. We just put in a new pool (from Walmart) and somehow the chemical floater thing in there has started to be called the "caramel corn" by one of the little kids. I guess "chemical" sounds kind of like "caramel", right? So caramel corn has been on everyone's mind and this is a great recipe so I thought I'd share!
I know some people can be intimidated by making caramel. Usually, it's a very sensitive process that involves a candy thermometer and can burn or crystallize very easily. But not this recipe, it's practically fool-proof! There's no thermometer involved!
Ok, I have to be completely honest with all of you. Legend has it in my family, that years ago some of my aunts (my Mom's sisters) tried to make this recipe and did burn it and then tried to flush the caramel corn down the toilet. Since I was very young, I can neither confirm nor deny this story. (But I will say that scatterbrained-ness runs deep in my family. I can't tell you how many times I've driven away somewhere with my purse on the top of my car! But...annnnyway, I digress.) I have made this recipe probably 1,000 times and never had one problem. And I'm going to walk you through step-by-step, so it'll be a snap, even if you've never made caramel before!
This caramel corn recipe is so yummy! If you have never had warm caramel corn you are missing out on one of the great joys of life! We usually eat this stuff until our jaws hurt! And it's still great the next day after it cools off, if it makes it that long. The entire recipe will be posted at the bottom of this page, so you can download it and give it a try!
It's always best to have all your ingredients out and ready to go. Pop 7 1/2 quarts of popcorn and put it in a roasting pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil. To measure, I always use my 4-cup measuring cup, since that's one quart. It doesn't have to be exact, a little more or a little less popcorn won't hurt the recipe.
Next, melt a cup of butter (2 sticks) in a heavy-duty sauce pan over medium heat.
Once the butter is melted, add 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar, 1/2 cup white granulated sugar, 1/2 cup corn syrup, and a teaspoon of salt. Mix it well and let the sugars melt. It's not required to melt every piece of sugar like some recipes, but I let the mixture melt together before boiling as an extra precaution.
Once well mixed, turn up the heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil. (Now, you can see I am using an electric cook-top, you may need to adjust if using gas.) Once it reaches a full boil, boil for 5 minutes. While it is boiling, you can stir it occasionally or just swish the pan around a little. (Swish is a technical term.)
When it is finished boiling, remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of vanilla, mix well to incorporate the baking soda. (Be careful because it steams up a little when the vanilla is added.)
Pour the caramel over the popcorn and mix well. (Try to restrain yourself from eating boiling hot caramel.)
If all the popcorn isn't covered with caramel at this point, it's ok. You will stir it while it bakes and it will all get coated. Bake it in a 225 degree oven for 15 minutes and take out and stir. Then bake it for 15 more minutes (30 minutes total) and stir it again and enjoy! That's it!
This is a wonderful recipe to be enjoying while watching a movie or great to serve for others to munch on at a party. I literally had to slap my older kids hands away so I could take a picture! It is that good!
I hope you can find some time to make this! Please let me know what you think of it! If you click on the picture of the recipe below, it has a link so you'll be able to download it or print it. Thanks so much! Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!