Growing up, snow days meant Mom would make something special. Usually something we didn't get often and that took a bit more time to prepare. Caramel corn was always a favorite for my sister and I. And her caramel corn still remains a great treat! Knowing we'd be stuck at home today, I decided it was time to introduce my kids to their Grandma's Caramel Corn.
I started by digging through my special recipe book. This caramel corn recipe actually comes from my Great-Grandma on my Mom's side of the family. You start with 6 quarts of popcorn. And this was my first learning experience today. As much as I hate to admit it, I've never popped popcorn on the stove. I don't eat a lot of popcorn to start with. And when I do, I just buy the microwaveable bags. So I had to figure out how to pop corn on the stove top!! Doing it as I remember Mom doing it, I started with 3 tablespoons of popcorn oil and added 4 kernels. I turned on the stove and waited for a kernel to pop. As soon as it did, I added 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels.
It took about 2 minutes of constant back and forth movement of the pan, with a lid on top, to get the popcorn all popped. I'm proud to say I didn't have any unpopped kernels either! And the popcorn tasted so much better than the microwaveablee bags.
In total I popped 1 cup of corn, giving me 4 quarts of popcorn. I divided the 2 batches of popcorn into two big baking pans.
To make the caramel sauce, I needed 1/2c light corn syrup, 2 cups of brown sugar and 2 sticks of unsalted butter.
Bring those ingredients to a boil and stir constantly for 5 minutes. Then pour the mixture over the popcorn, to which you may have added peanuts. I did, although you wouldn't have to. Stir the mixture so the popcorn is coated.
Place in an oven set at 250 and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool and store.
I wish you could scratch and sniff your computer screen. This stuff is amazing!! I completely skipped lunch and just nibbled on caramel corn! And I sent the pan on the left to the barn with The Farmer. Those guys braved ice and snow to get to work this morning and will be driving home in a blizzard tonight. I thought they deserved a treat today. Reviews have been great from them! And giving some away saved me a few hours on the treadmill burning off the calories!