A dear friend, sister, & mentee of mine graduated high school this summer… And after much consideration, she decided her next stage in life will take place in NYU.  With only a short time to be with her, we weren’t able to meet up outside of church.  So, I did what I knew best… I made yummy goodies and hand delivered them on Sundays.  & now that she has left for New York, I’ve been piling up a list on what I should send to her as a care package.  The first thing on the list was… caramel popcorn!

I’ve found this recipe on allrecipes.com a year ago and tweaked it a little to accommodate to varying batch sizes.  This is really easy to make, so just follow along with me~

First, gather all the ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup & 3 kernels of popcorn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda

Second, pop the kernels!  (my favorite part)

  1. In a 3 quart saucepan, put 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil with 3 kernels.  Cover the saucepan with lid and heat on medium high.
  2. As soon as the first kernel pops, open the lid and add 1/3 cup of kernels.  Put the lid back on and gently shake pan above the stove until popping stops.
  3. Carefully lift the lid to allow the steam to escape and pour the popped corn onto the baking tray. (Make sure to have a silicon mat on the baking tray to ensure that you get every piece of caramel popcorn off the tray.  It truly makes a difference.)  & don’t forget to pick out the un-popped kernels.

& Finally… the caramel! (step-by-step pictures below)

  1. After you place the popped corn onto the baking tray, warm it in the oven at 250 degrees F.
  2. In a saucepan (use the same saucepan you popped the kernels in) over medium heat, melt the butter.  Stir in the light corn syrup, light brown sugar, & salt.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once it starts bubbling, stop stirring (leave it alone) for 2 minutes.
  3. After 2 minutes, remove from heat immediately and stir in the vanilla extract & baking soda.  (the caramel should have a light brown shade)
  4. Pour the caramel onto the popcorn and try to distribute it evenly.  Pop the tray back in the oven (still 250 degrees) for 5 minutes.  Take it out, stir the caramel popcorn evenly again and pop it back in the oven for 5 minutes.  Do this again 2 more times (total of 20 minutes) or until the caramel popcorn turns a shade darker.

Once it’s done in the oven, let the tray rest on a cooling rack.  Mix the caramel popcorn once in a while to loosen it’s hold from the baking tray.  & voila!

With caramel popcorn crossed out of the list, I need to gather other items for the care package to New York!  Hope many of you could use this recipe to put a smile on your loved ones’ faces~

Thank you very much.

& God bless.