Craig and I enjoy sharing a big bowl of popcorn, while we watch a movie at home-- Kettle Corn being our favorite. For years, I've toyed with making caramel corn but I never got around to it.
Recently, I decided to buy a Whirley Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper. The first time I used this, I was smitten. The popcorn tastes like real theater popcorn! Tastewise, I prefer using coconut oil, vs. vegetable oil. But either one is fine. Not only was it easy to use, it was fun and a lot easier than shaking a pot back and forth. In 3 minutes, we enjoyed a big bowl of popcorn. All I have to do is wipe the pot with a paper towel (no soap and water) and I wash the lid with the popcorn stirrer with soap and water. Easy peasy!
Making the caramel was pretty easy. In a sauce pan, I added butter, brown sugar, molasses, and corn syrup and then brought it to a boil, for about five minutes. I made sure to stir, occasionally.
Because this mixture is very hot, I cannot emphasize enough to not be tempted to taste this, and to pour it over the popcorn and peanut mixture with great care!
Combine the popcorn and caramel thoroughly, and then spread onto a parchment (or Silpat) lined mat. Bake at 200F for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so.
TASTING NOTES: I've often wondered how long the commercial Cracker Jack® box has been sitting on the grocery store shelf. By making my own, I know it's freshly made. My entire family loved this treat. I stored it in an air tight container, and it was gone in just two days. For Halloween or Christmas, these make great treats that people really appreciate. I hope that you do, too.
A printable recipe card is at the end of this post.