Halloween just isn’t quite complete without popcorn. But I’m not really a fan of popcorn balls. So, I make the traditional caramel corn, and call it good. And let me tell you, it is good. Caramel corn is really easy to do, so don’t be intimidated at all. This is a very simple recipe, and prep.
Butter Toffee Caramel Corn
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon extract – vanilla, maple, almond — your choice
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
16 cups popcorn (popped!!)
salt to taste
3 cups nuts (mixed, cashews, pecans, or whatever you like)
Heat the oven to 300F.
Pop the popcorn. I usually need to do two batches. You can use microwave popcorn, but get unflavored, unbuttered and as “all natural” as you can. Newmans Own is a good choice, as well as Orville Redenbacher’s “Natural”.
Line a baking sheet with parchment, and then pour the popcorn evenly over the sheet. Sprinkle the nuts over the popcorn and set the baking sheet aside.
In a saucepan, mix the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup. You can use light or dark corn syrup, but I prefer the light. Heat to boiling, and then boil for 5 minutes. Stir constantly.
Remove the pan from the heat and add in the cream of tarter and baking soda, stiring constantly. This is going to foam up, just keep mixing it. Stir in the flavoring.
Pour the mixture over the popcorn and mix well, coating each piece. This gets messy! If you have one of those gigantic mixing bowls that people like my Mother always seem to have, you can mix the popcorn in that, and then transfer it to the baking sheet.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow this to cool, and then break apart. Once it is totally cool, store in a tightly sealed container or a ziplock bag.