Homemade Caramel Corn
I cooked some sugar.
I cooked some sugar and poured it over salted popcorn.
Holy moly. Hot sugar.
I need to talk to you about hot sugar.
I need to tell you that hot sugar on you hand… not cool… at all. Hot sugar on salted popcorn is a dream come true.
If you can’t already tell, I burned myself while making this popcorn… for breakfast. Don’t judge. The burn was totally worth it.
I learned the value of a giant bowl of ice water in the making of this popcorn. I’m just sayin…
Here’s how to cook some sugar and make it even more delicious. Just be careful.. k?
It all starts out innocently enough. Sugar. Water. Heat.
After ten minutes of cooking, the sugar is looking like a lean mean sugar bubblin’ concoction.
Twenty minutes. Watchyoself.
My sugar took about 25 minutes to reach this lovely shade of amber. And then it burned the heck out of me. Sad and true…
and worth it.
Homemade Caramel Corn
makes about 6 cups
adapted from foodnetwork.com
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1/2 cup roasted almonds
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt, depending on how salty you like your life
bowl of ice water
This recipe requires that you work quickly and carefully. I don’t want you to hurt yourself. ok?
First, make the popcorn. Place oil in a medium to large saucepan over medium high heat. Add one kernel of corn and cover pan. When the single kernel pops, add the 1/2 cup of unpopped popcorn and cover. Use a pot holder to lightly shake the pan as the corn pops. When the popping stops, turn of the heat, remove the pot from the burner and shake the popcorn into a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 to 1 teaspoons of sea salt… depending on how salty you like your popcorn. Set popped popcorn aside.
Prepare a bowl of ice water and set aside. If you get any hot sugar syrup on your body. Ouch. Stick it in ice water… fast.
Measure out the butter, vanilla extract, nuts and salt. Set aside. In a medium saucepan add the sugar. Pour the water into the pan with the sugar, but pour the water towards the side of the pan… not directly on top of the sugar. Mark an X with your finger through the sugar and water.
Place saucepan over medium-high heat and let cook. Swirl the pan every few minutes Swirl, don’t stir. The sugar and water will cook down and bubble and slowly begin to caramelize. The process takes 20-30 minutes of cooking and swirling. Be patient but keep an eye on it. At the 20 minute mark, you’ll begin to smell caramelization. When the sugar reaches a caramel color, remove from the heat. Add the butter and vanilla extract. The mixture will bubble up. Give it a few good swirls.
Working quickly and carefully pour the hot caramel mixture over the popcorn. If any hot caramel gets on your skin, immediately immerse in the bowl of ice water. Ouch! With two spatulas stir until most of the popcorn is covered in hot caramel. Carefully pour out onto a silpat or foil lined sheet pan. Break up any large clumps with the spatula, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sea salt and let come to room temperature.