Monday, December 16, 2013

Oven Caramel Popcorn

3 3/4 quarts (15 cups) popped corn
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup light corn syrup (or real maple syrup)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Heat oven to 200F. Place popped corn in a deep roasting pan or divide between 2 cookie sheets. Heat sugar, butter and corn syrup and salt in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally until bubbly around edges. Continue cooking over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat; stir in soda until foamy. Pour on popped corn; stir until corn is coated. Bake 1 hour stirring every 15 to 20 minutes.

Note: This is a family favorite that I usually make at Christmastime and give away to family and friends as gifts. The original recipe calls for stirring every 15 minutes but I have discovered that I can get away with stirring every 20 minutes (or 2 times during the hour) instead. I then give it a final stir and pour it out into a large steel bowl to cool afterwards. I usually use the light corn syrup but was dismayed one year to find that all the "corn syrup" being sold also had High Fructose Corn Syrup in it. This made the caramel corn have a different texture. It was not so crunchy and more plastic-like. So, I now check my corn syrup before I buy it and I use pure maple syrup if necessary or in a pinch!

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