I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but when I set out this past Christmas to make everyone gift baskets of food goodies, I knew I wanted to include caramel popcorn. It’s salty, crunchy, sweet, and healthy (okay, maybe not healthy).
It’s also astonishingly easy to make, but make sure to have a huge bowl for mixing the syrup with the popcorn, otherwise you’ll create a mess.
10-15 cups plain popcorn
3/4 stick butter
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup salted peanuts
1. Line bottom of a large shallow baking pan with foil. Lightly oil foil. Melt butter in a medium pot over moderate heat. Add brown sugar and bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring, then boil, without stirring and making sure syrup does not scorch, about 6 minutes. Remove pot from heat.
2. Using a wooden spoon or a heatproof spatula, stir salt and baking soda into syrup, then quickly stir in peanuts and popcorn to coat. Immediately spread mixture in baking pan as thinly and evenly as possible. Cool completely, then break into bite-size pieces.