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Homemade Caramel Popcorn

I have been known to have an addiction to popcorn. I love it movie theatre style with some melted butter, but I also like to find new ways to enjoy my favorite snack food. Making my own homemade caramel popcorn is a fun project that transforms the snack. Essentially you are going to make your own caramel sauce, cover the popcorn with it, and bake it in the oven. The most important part of the whole process is stirring regularly. Stirring keeps the popcorn from burning and it also makes sure that all of the popcorn is coated evenly.

I like to cook this recipe for special occasions, like parties and Halloween. Putting a bowl of home made caramel popcorn on the table is something that is more special than just another bag of store bought potato chips. This recipe is so delicious that you’ll have to restrain yourself so that you don’t eat the whole batch to yourself in one sitting. It’s sweet, but not overly so, and that just makes it easier to gobble down before you know it.

Ingredients

  • 10-12 cups air-popped popcorn*
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) butter
  • 1 cup (200g / 7 oz.) dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Pinch of salt (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions

Preheat oven to 200F/95C degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.

Place popcorn in a large bowl. Set aside. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, bring butter, sugar, honey, and salt to a boil. Let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately add vanilla extract and baking soda (be careful, the mixture will foam) and stir. Pour the caramel over the popcorn and toss until evenly coated. Spread popcorn evenly over prepared baking sheets. Bake for 1 hour, stirring the mixture every 20 minutes (twice total) to prevent burning. Cool completely on a wire rack. Once fully cooled, break up any popcorn that is stuck together (or, if preferred, break into clusters). Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Source: Pretty Simple Sweet

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