I wanted to make some neighbor gifts yesterday, but I didn’t have time to make and wrap individual caramels, nor make toffee and package it up, like I usually do. So instead I whipped up a triple batch of this candied popcorn, scooped it up into bags, and tied it with a bow and our Christmas card. Viola! This is a fast and delicious alternative to the classic candy-thermometer caramel popcorn that I usually make at Christmas time. My friend Britni Hamblin brought some over a couple weeks ago, and I thought it was so delicious, and had such a pretty presentation, that I asked her for the recipe. Thanks so much for sharing, Britni!
submitted by Erin ~ The Sisters Cafe
3 to 3 1/2 batches of air-popped popcorn (each batch is 1/2 c. unpopped corn kernels. So this would be the equivalent of 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups of unpopped corn kernels)
2 cubes butter (1 cup)
1 1/3 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. light corn syrup
First, pop all your popcorn. Shake the popcorn and then scoop the top layers into a couple large mixing bowls. Leave the heavy and/or unpopped kernels behind. (This is important so no one breaks their teeth on your popcorn. :) )
Melt butter in a large pan. Stir in sugar and corn syrup. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Continue stirring, on medium-low heat, until the mixture is completely smooth. (It may bubble once or twice, but don’t allow it to simmer or boil; if it does then the caramel mixture will be harder when it cools, which makes for brittle popcorn instead of soft popcorn.) Turn heat off.
Using a ladle, drizzle the sugar mixture over a portion of your popcorn. Then mix it with a spoon, add another portion of fresh popcorn, drizzle the mixture over it, and stir it around, etc. Continue until all your mixture is evenly distributed on the popcorn. (You do not necessarily have to use all your popcorn. If you use less (ie, 3 batches), it will have a thicker coating. If you use more (ie, 3 1/2 batches), it will have a lighter coating.)
I packaged my candied popcorn into gallon sized twist-tie bags I bought at the grocery store. Or you can store it in a tupperware for a few days. Or serve it right away! Enjoy!