Super Simple Carmel Popcorn
Caramel popcorn has been a favorite of mine since I was a child along with many other sweet treats. You see my mom was (is) a shopaholic and would drag me to every mall within a 20 mile radius for hours on end. I hated shopping unless there was food involved, so my mom would agree to my small demands in order to keep me happy and less winy. When she would announce we were going shopping (at least 3 times a week, no lie) I would begin the bargaining, first it was “let me stay home by myself, I promise not to move one inch from the TV”. I know most mom’s wouldn’t think of leaving their 3-4 year old home alone in front of the TV, being a mother myself now, I’m sure it was tempting because who really wants to drag a winy 3-year-old around who constantly complained that their legs hurt. Well the home-alone strategy never worked but I tried each time in hopes something might have changed. Without success I then went into, “I will only go if…. I can get a caramel popcorn, or licorice rope at Sears, or a grilled cheese sandwich with french fries for lunch”, yes this was before the “Happy Meal”. I’m happy to say my mom hardly ever broke her promise and shopping became a way of getting my sweet tooth taken care of for the day.
Sometimes I like to blame my parents for all the junk food I like in adult-hood and not because my mom bought it and served it at home because she didn’t. My mom was always on some diet and she was a healthy eater and made us eat healthy at home. I felt many times deprived because my mom didn’t buy Twinkies or Ding Dongs for lunches, she never bought sugar cereal like Pop’s or Trix, she hardly ever baked or bought cookies either :(. But my parents gave into my endless sweet tooth by treating my sister and I to many ice-cream outings, donuts runs and candy store walks with Dad. I cherish all the memories associated with the good feelings I got from those family times. Luckily for me I was super active as a kid and played outside until my teenage years, then I was involved in sports which accounts for my good metabolism because I adore sweets, and baking! I really am just now having to fight my weight, but I am at the dreaded middle age most people have to cut back anyway. Pardon for the rambling, what I wanted to tell you is I still love
the smell, taste and crunch of some fresh hot caramel popcorn and I passed that love onto my son who has an equal sweet tooth to me.
My friend Maria gave me this recipe one time when she made this amazingly easy caramel corn, now it’s my families favorite recipe. The thing I like about this recipe is you can leave the candy thermometer in the drawer and leave the oven off. It’s simple to make and in about 10 minutes you are in caramel popcorn heaven…be warned it is super addicting :).
Super Simple Carmel Popcorn
8 to 10 cups of popped corn or 3/4 cup un-popped corn or 2 1/2 bags microwave popcorn
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of butter
1/4 cup white corn syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Step 1: Pop the popcorn your favorite way, in the microwave, air-popper, or stove top. and put in a large stock pot with high sides, this makes it easy when stirring in the hot caramel.
Step 2: In a medium size pan put all the ingredients into the pan except soda. Bring to boil on med-high heat.
Step 3: Boil for 5 minutes while stirring.
Step 4: Take off heat and stir in the soda, then immediately pour over popcorn stirring quickly but carefully. I sometimes use my oven-mit to stir since I’ve been burned several times by the hot caramel.
Step 5: Lay out two sheets of foil about 9X13 inch size on the counter top and spray lightly with cooking spray, now dump out the popcorn spread out on foil to cool completely.
Step 6: Enjoy and save the leftovers in an air tight container.