Greg's Caramel Popcorn

Greg has been making this buttery, crunchy, peanutty, caramel corn recipe for so long that a holiday without it is unacceptable.  I believe that he can whip up a big bowl of this treat in his sleep. The recipe is included in our family cookbook “The Scrapbook” put together by my sister Stephanie. It’s Christmas so I thought I would share another one of our favorite goodies with you. Be careful  – – this stuff is addictive!

Greg’s Caramel Popcorn

1 c. unpopped popcorn – – poppedgreg's popcorn 2 ingre 400
2 sticks of butter
2 c. (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 c. light Karo syrup
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. peanuts, salted or unsalted –  Greg has also used cashews or pecans – nuts are optional

1. Pop the corn and put it in a very large bowl and set aside. Greg uses a 13 quart bowl to make mixing in the caramel  easier.  It helps if you arrange the popped corn in the bowl in an inverted cone or funnel shape. Greg says arranging the popcorn this way keeps the hot caramel off the sides of the bowl and on the popcorn and makes mixing easier.

2. Put the butter,  brown sugar, Karo, and cream of tartar, and nuts if you are using them,  into a 4 quart saucepan. You will need a pan at least this large because as the caramel cooks it bubbles up. Bring this mixture to a “light boil” – Greg’s description – and simmer it for 5 minutes. Stir frequently.

3. Remove from heat and add the baking soda. Stir well. The mixture will foam up when the baking soda is added.

Greg's popcorn 6 b.s. boil 400

4. Pour the hot mixture into the popped corn and fold it  in.

Greg's popcorn 6 fold caramel 400

Greg says that in order to mix the caramel in well and keep the popcorn whole, it works best if you move your spoon down the side of the bowl across the bottom of the bowl to the middle  and lift and turn the mixture. Repeat this  movement over and over until the caramel coats the popcorn.

Greg's popcorn 8 400

 5. Spread the mixture onto an ungreased cookie sheet or large flat pan with sides. Use a cookie sheet or pan with sides so the mixture stays confined and safe in the oven.  Bake at 225° for 1 hour. Every 15 minutes remove  the caramel corn from the oven, pour the mixture back into the large bowl you used to mix it in,  then spread it back on the cookie sheet and put it back into the oven for another 15 minutes. The process of moving the popcorn back into a bowl and then back onto the cookie sheet helps to separate any clumps of caramel corn, more evenly distributes heat through out the mixture.

6. After one hour pour the caramel corn into a large bowl and allow it to cool completely.  Store in a tightly sealed container. This recipe is at its best during times of low humidity. During humid weather it is difficult to keep the caramel corn crunchy.

Greg's popcorn 12 gift 400

We use Greg’s Caramel Corn during the Christmas season for hostess gifts and holiday parties. It seems to find its way into every gift package we give. Or . .  we just make it and eat it!!

Merry Christmas and  Happy New Year,
Fran                 The Country Cousin

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