The original recipe from Jolly Time Popcorn calls for corn syrup. I think honey tastes better, and lends a comforting illusion of healthiness. Nuts could be added, if desired, to up the protein content and assuage dietary guilt.
Warning: This caramelcorn is highly addictive. Make twice as much as you think you'll need. Packed in jars or canisters, it makes a quite attractive gift.
Single Recipe (Double) ~ Oven 250º
7-8 quarts popped popcorn (15 quarts) in large roasting pan(s)
A single batch can be made in two 9"x13" pans.
Hot-air popcorn works best. I usually pop the corn and make the syrup at the same time, running back and forth between stove and counter. This makes me feel efficient.
|Popcorn action shot!|
|Awaiting their caramel baptism|
In heavy pan, combine:
2 sticks or 8 oz. butter (4 sticks or 1 lb.)
2 cups brown sugar (4 cups)
1/2 cup honey (1 cup)
1 teaspoon salt (2 teaspoons)
|Honey-sweet and full of butter|
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly (or as constantly as you can while popping gallons of popcorn). Let boil for 5 minutes (7 minutes for double batch) without stirring.
Remove from heat and add:
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon vanilla (2 teaspoons)
Stir well. Mixture will foam.
|Soda makes it foam|
Pour over popcorn and toss well to coat evenly. (Take your time on this part - the better you stir it now, the less you have to stir it later.)
|Silicone spatulas make dandy popcorn tossers|
Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. (For even baking, I also rotate the pans from top shelf to bottom with each stirring). The cook is allowed to eat any popcorn that falls out of the pans. After 1 hour, stir once more, then turn out onto clean counter and cool.
|Heaps of golden deliciousness|
Break up and store in airtight containers. Try not to eat it all yourself.
For more Making Winter ideas, check out the blog hop at Mrs. Thrifty Household. (Does blog hopping burn calories? Let's hope so.)
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