Tonight is our annual Christmas Light Tour where the kids and I go around our little town and enjoy all the Christmas lights that are on display. We live in a small town but it has LOTS of houses, and it still has that small town feel so people really get into decorating. It's nice to not have to travel far, and by not waiting until Christmas Eve as we have in the past we are looking forward to seeing more than we did last year. Every year we usually take a snack and just truly enjoy the time. Most times it is what we call "Trash" but this year I wanted to do some thing different. Caramel Popcorn.
I remember my favorite Aunt had made some when we girls were young for a Girl Scouts meeting, and I LOVED it... and have never had homemade since. I have had boxed, bagged, and such but really there is nothing better than homemade! Do you know what?! It didn't' take much effort and I had all the ingredients on hand! I used to be so intimidated to try new things .... afraid to fail. I am finally growing up!!
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla
12 cups popped popcorn (air popped)
Preheat your oven to 300*. Melt a stick of butter in a medium to large sauce pan. Add in brown sugar and corn syrup bringing to a rolling boil. Turn heat down and allow to and leave alone without stirring for 5 minutes. Cook for an additional 4 to 6 minutes stirring every 30 seconds or so. Turn heat completely off whisk in salt, baking soda, and vanilla. Pour caramel onto bowls of popcorn and stir well to coat making sure to get all of the caramel out of the pan. Pour popcorn onto greased cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes stirring every five minutes. Immediately remove from oven and pour onto waxed paper or parchment paper and allow to cool. Break into pieces and store in air tight container. It can be stored for up to a week, but I doubt it will last that long!
This is really something GREAT to offer your guests at a Christmas or New Year's Eve party!