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!
- 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)
- In a 3 quart saucepan, put 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil with 3 kernels. Cover the saucepan with lid and heat on medium high.
- 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.
- 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)
- After you place the popped corn onto the baking tray, warm it in the oven at 250 degrees F.
- 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.
- After 2 minutes, remove from heat immediately and stir in the vanilla extract & baking soda. (the caramel should have a light brown shade)
- 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.