I have TONS of popcorn packets from Costco (that's the first and last time I'll ever buy bulk popcorn!) so I wanted to serve some of it at my Bunco night. Rather than just putting out plain popcorn (which is great, too), I wanted to take it a step further and serve crunchy caramel corn. I used microwavable popcorn since I have so much of it (that's not my FIL's recipe as my MIL "hates" microwave popcorn), and you know, it turned out great! It was a little messy but not any more so than sticky rice krispie treats. After I tossed the popcorn in the caramel sauce and got it in the oven, I soaked everything in hot water which made clean-up a breeze.
Eat one piece and you're done for.
- 2 sticks butter (I used 1 stick)
- 2 c brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/2 c corn syrup
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 bags microwaved popcorn, popped (approx. 12 c)
- Pop popcorn according to package directions. Put popcorn in a very LARGE bowl and discard ALL kernels.
- In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Then, boil without stirring for 4 mins. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla.
- While caramel sauce is boiling, preheat oven to 225F and prep 2 baking sheets (use jelly roll-type pan that has sides) with foil and butter it.
- Gradually pour caramel sauce over popped popcorn and mix well. Be careful not to burn yourself! Divide into 2 prepared baking sheets and bake for 45 mins, stirring every 15 mins. Set your timer or you will burn your caramel.
- Remove from oven after 45 mins and cool completely before breaking into pieces. Store in airtight container.