Salty, sweet, and crunchy, with a creamy buttery overtures makes this a fabulous snack to have around Occasionally though - only have this around occasionally. If you make it and eat it frequently, you'll likely start cursing me for your rapid weight gain and insatiable sweet tooth. So to avoid profanities make this only as a special treat.
I've been making this Salted Carmel Popcorn since I was 14 and living with my dad. I can't remember why I started making it (maybe because it was freaking amazing!?) but I remember opening the side pantry, pulling down my moms worn out, splattered, flour stained Betty Crocker Cookbook and flipping to the sticky page that held the gloriously simple recipe.
My mind would always fill with wonder and excitement as the baking soda caused the thick dense carmel to bubble and foam like shaving cream. The emotions quickly shifted to gleeful anticipation as I poured the fluffy mixture over the salted popcorn and stirred until it was properly coated. Consumption begun immediately as I poured the sticky morsels into a pan and put it in the oven. It would make my teeth stick together before it was cooked, and it would yield a satisfying crunch after the oven had worked it's caramelizing magic.
Mmmm, good times are always to be had when carmel popcorn is involved. Make it for a light summer snack or put a large bowl out for holiday parties, this recipe is good all year round.
12 cups popped popcorn (about 1/3 cup unpopped, btw)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Spray or grease a bowl to comfortably hold all the popcorn. Add popcorn and set aside.
In a medium pot, heat sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt over medium heat until it starts to bubble. Keep it as a soft bubble for 2-3 minutes. Add the baking soda, mix quickly, and remove from heat. It will instantly foam like shaving cream, so watch out! Immediately pour over the popcorn and stir with a large spoon, coating the popcorn evenly.
Crunch carmel corn: Pour onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 200º for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Allow to cool, and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Gooey carmel corn: (perfect for popcorn balls) don't bake it, and simply store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. If you want to form it into shape, now is your chance!