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Caramel Popcorn

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The smell of fresh popcorn gets me every time. How can anyone resist the appetizing aroma!?! In my household we initially went from making popcorn in an air popper, then upgraded to a whirly pop pan, and finally onto the piece de resistance of popping our popcorn in a large cast iron dutch oven over the stove top or campfire (yummy). The sheer versatility of popcorn makes for endless flavor possibilities. Which is why popcorn is awesome! This characteristic can also be a burden for those of us who tend to be indecisive….leaving us so many options it can be mind boggling. Fear not my indecisive friends, I have the perfect popcorn for you…..my delicious caramel corn. However, if you do not like caramel – I simply can’t help you in this recipe – nor comprehend what is not to enjoy about caramel. You can also jazz this recipe up by drizzling melted chocolate on it at the end. Have I sold you on this recipe yet? I hope so….

Ingredients:

12 cups popped popcorn

1 cup brown sugar

3/4 cups butter

1/2 cup corn syrup

1 teaspoon baking soda

*optional ingredients: nuts (any kind you fancy in popcorn will do the trick), 1 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, 2 teaspoons shortening 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250°F. Put the 12 cups of popcorn in a large roasting pan. If you want to add nuts add those right along in there with the popcorn.

In a large deep skillet combine the brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup. You may use a saucepan if you’d like, but I prefer to have a larger surface area by using a deep skillet to prevent sugar crystal formation.

Cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Stirring as little as possible. Once the mixture comes to a boil continue boiling for 2 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir  in the baking soda.

Pour the hot caramel mixture over the popcorn in the roasting pan. Stir carefully coating the popcorn with caramel.

Bake 60 minutes. Removing and stirring every 15 minutes.

Remove from oven. Place on waxed paper. Cool completely and break into pieces.

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If you wanted to drizzle with chocolate melt chocolate with 1 teaspoon shortening, and drizzle over the popcorn.

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~Sarah

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