A fall favorite at our house each year is HOMEMADE CARAMEL CORN. And it is so easy to make. Having one granddaughter who has an allergy to nuts, I make up a batch with nuts and another batch without nuts. It is a wonderfully sweet treat either way.
The recipe makes a big batch, so I cook mine up in a dishpan and then pour it out onto parchment paper to cool before bagging it up into Zip Lock Sandwich Bags.
~6 bags microwave popped popcorn
~2 cups dry roasted peanuts or mixed nuts (optional)
~3 cups brown sugar
~1/2 cup light corn syrup
~1 teaspoon salt
~2 sticks butter
~1/2 teaspoon baking soda
~1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1) Place the popped popcorn into dishpan or roasting pan sprayed with cooking spray. Add the nuts to the popped corn if using. Set aside.
2) Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring enough to blend. Once the mixture begins to boil, boil for 5 minutes while stirring constantly.
3) Remove from the heat, and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will be light and foamy. Immediately pour over the popcorn in the pan, and stir to coat. Don't worry too much at this point about getting all of the corn coated.
4) Bake for 1 hour, removing the pan, and giving it a good stir every 15 minutes. After it has cooked for one hour, line the counter top with parchment paper. Dump the corn out onto the parchment paper and separate the pieces. Allow to cool completely, then store in airtight containers or resealable bags.
This makes a great treat for all your little Trick-Or-Treaters in your neighborhood. Another option that kids love is to add pretzels and Chex Mix instead of nuts. You will have to excuse me now.....I have to go whip up a batch right now!