We make a lot of popcorn in our house… sometimes with butter and salt, sometimes with Parmesan cheese or truffle oil and pepper. This caramel corn is our new favorite. I pop the corn in a popper on the stove top (thanks Mari!), but you could use a bag of microwave popcorn. This is a great after school surprise, takes movie night up a notch and is the hit of any party. P.S. don’t be intimidated by caramel. Just give it some attention. It is not hard to make with the right tool…a candy thermometer.
non-stick cooking spray
1/3 cup popcorn kernels popped on stove top as directed or 1 bag of microwave popcorn popped per instructions on the bag
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. baking soda (sounds weird I know but it’s a science thing)
1/4 tsp. salt
M&Ms, nuts, dried fruit, dried coconut…go crazy!
Spray a large bowl with non-stick cooking spray. Pop the corn and add to the bowl. Spray a baking sheet too and set it aside.
In a medium heavy pot over medium heat add the brown sugar, honey and butter. Stir frequently as it melts and combines. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot. Continue to cook the caramel and bring to a boil, stirring to keep it from burning. It will start to darken to a caramel color as it gets close to 300 degrees. Should take about 10 minutes or so.
Once it hits 300 degrees, remove from the heat and stir in the baking soda and salt. Pour over the popped corn and stir to coat. Quickly add your toppings (dark M&Ms were used for the picture and boy were they good!). Stir again to distribute the toppings. Dump out gooey, delicious mess onto the prepared baking sheet and let it sit to cool. Once cooled you can brake it into chunks like brittle. You know what to do next!
Plays well with others: Honestly you won’t have to worry about storage times because it disappears fast. Your toppings are limited only by your pantry.