Friday, January 17, 2014

Salted Caramel Popcorn

We received a hot air popcorn maker for Christmas (from my lovely sister-in-law) and I've been so excited to try out new popcorn recipes.  She also gave us an awesome book that has a ton of great ideas, but I had this recipe saved on Pinterest for a while.  It's amazing!  The popcorn becomes chewy, not crunchy and it's addicting!  

This is the real deal caramel - using a candy thermometer (good thing I asked for one for Christmas!).  And it is very hot when you pour over the popcorn, so be careful.  After stirring, I poured it all out on a baking sheet covered with wax paper to help it cool.  

My children were sneaking pieces left and right as it cooled.  It's amazing!  I love the sweet and salty combination!  You can use a fine sea salt or a coarse Kosher salt (what I used). 

Makes about 10 cups

Salted Caramel Popcorn

1 cup of popcorn kernels, popped
2 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pop the kernels into a very large mixing bowl.  In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt.  Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.  Once it reaches a boil, add sweetened condensed milk, then return to a boil and cook, stirring constantly until it reaches 236 - 238 degrees on a candy thermometer.

Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and 1 teaspoon of the salt.  Drizzle half of the caramel over the popcorn and stir to coat.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt over the popcorn and add the rest of the caramel.  Stir again until everything is evenly coated.  Allow to cool, then store in airtight containers.

(Source:  Adapted from Cooking Classy)

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