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Caramel Corn

Caramel Corn is one of those indulgences that seems justified on a cold fall or winter evening.  There are many different types of  Caramel Corn and just as many recipes.  This recipe comes from the folks at Land ‘O Lakes and is the best I’ve ever made.  I used to make it in huge batches, bag it and sell it at the bakery.   If I’m making it for my family, I stir in about 2 cups of roasted and salted peanuts, but these can be omitted.

While it is a bit time-consuming, you’ll be making time in your busy schedule to make it again and again.  7 quarts of Caramel Corn sounds like a lot, and you can, of course, cut the recipe in half BUT…you’ll be glad you made it all!

Start with 7 Quarts (28 dry cups) of air-popped popcorn.  Sort through and remove any un-popped kernels.   Place the popcorn in a very large bowl, one which leaves enough room to stir.

Pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees.

In a large saucepan, combine:
2 cups Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Corn Syrup
1 tsp Salt
1 cup Butter

Bring to a boil.  Stirring constantly, boil the ingredients until a candy thermometer reaches 248 degrees.

Remove from heat and stir in:
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1-1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Immediately stir into the popcorn (BE CAREFUL as it is VERY HOT!).  Coat the popcorn well.  Pour the popcorn out onto lightly greased baking sheets.  Bake in the oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  After the hour, line the counter or table with parchment or wax paper and dump the pans of popcorn out onto the paper.  Allow to cool completely.  Break apart the pieces and bag or store in an airtight container.


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