Nothing tastes as great as homemade caramel corn. Sweet, sticky, and crunchy, it's the perfect snack for a ball game, a night around the campfire, or an all-night ghost-story session.
- Ready in: 15 minutes
- Complexity: easy
- 3 cups popped popcorn
- For caramel sauce
- 1 1/4 cups (packed) brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- Combine brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup in heavy saucepan. Whisk over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves and butter melts. Attach clip-on candy thermometer to side of pan. Increase heat to high and boil without stirring until thermometer registers 255 degrees F, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush. This takes about 4 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla, salt, and baking soda. The mixture will change color and bubble up as the baking soda reacts with the sugar. Carefully pour syrup over popcorn, distributing it well. Stir with a large metal or wooden spoon until the popcorn is covered.
- Set the mixture aside to cool. Caramel corn keeps well when stored in an airtight container.
To save time, pop the popcorn in advance and let it cool. If you're making a large batch, remove the un-popped kernels by putting all the popcorn in a paper bag and shaking it until the old maids fall to the bottom.