Reliable is maybe not a common phrase to describe caramel in the food world, but for this caramel corn that is most definitely the case.
I will take absolutely zero credit for the amazing-ness represented below but rather give all the credit the first food blog I ever stumbled upon before I knew that food blogs were a thing. I can’t even remember what recipe I made first- most likely one of her amazing cupcakes- but Annie’s Eats made my love for foods deeper created my strange obsession with other blogs, and helped me realize how fun and easy it is to make your own kitchen essentials (check out her pizza dough, whole wheat pita bread, and whole grain pancake mix).
So in tribute to my first food blog find and to creating the best party snack ever, I give you caramel corn. You will wow your friends, make your significant other like you a little bit more, and make yourself oh so happy with this one.
1 cup popcorn kernels, unpopped
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pop the popcorn however you choose (whirly pop, sauce pan, air popper etc.). Once popped, put the popcorn in two bowls so there is enough room to toss the popcorn.
Preheat the oven to 250 ℉
To make the caramel, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. After the butter has melted, add the corn syrup, brown sugar and salt. Raise to medium-high heat and allow the sugar mixture to boil. Stir frequently to avoid burning.
After a boil is reached, let the mixture remain boiling for 5 minutes without stirring. Then, remove the mixture from the heat and add the baking soda and vanilla extract. The mixture will bubble out. Divide the caramel sauce over the two bowls and toss to evenly coat.
Spread the popcorn over 2 baking sheets. Bake for 40-50 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. To test if the popcorn is done, test a piece and make sure it is totally crispy and crunch. If it is still slightly mushy, bake for ten minutes longer.
Although the popcorn is delicious right out of the oven, allow to completely cool before packaging.