Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Caramel Corn

My friend went on a trip a short time ago and the lady he was staying with made him caramel corn.  Ever since, he has been talking about making it.  So the other night, we went for it!  He found a recipe on, we bought the ingredients, and we were ready :)

The recipe says it makes 8 servings.  I don't know how big a serving is but I do know we made a double batch!

1/2 cup popcorn kernels or about 10 cups of popped corn
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp. butter
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. baking soda

The recipe suggests popping the popcorn and then placing it in a 120 degrees F oven in a stainless steel bowl to stay warm.  We just popped the popcorn right before we were ready to coat it though.

This recipe calls for the use of a candy thermometer, which I do not own, so I am going to list times to do things instead of temperatures.

1. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir together the sugars, corn syrup and water.  Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally.
2. Once the mixture boils, cover it and boil it for another minute or two.
3. Uncover the mixture and boil it over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes until it reaches the soft ball stage.  At this point, stir in the butter.
4. Continue to cook the caramel, stirring occasionally, for another 4-5 minutes until it reaches the hard crack stage.
5. The directions here say to remove the saucepan from the heat and add in the salt and baking soda.  We found it mixed in better if we left the saucepan on the heat.  The caramel foams when you add the baking soda!
6. We spread our popcorn out on a deep baking dish covered in tinfoil (I think we used the bottom part of a broiling pan and I think wax paper would have been better), poured the caramel over the popcorn and stirred with wooden spoons.  Spread the mixture out.  While it is still hot, separate it into bite-size pieces (don't use your hands).
7. We added the step of warming the mixture in the oven to make the caramel corn a little crispier.

8. Enjoy!

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