If I make you one promise that you believe, let it be that this is the best and easiest caramel corn you can make. Along with that though, let me warn you that it can be addictive. I mean, it cooks up in mere minutes, and it tastes better then anything you can buy at a store.
I don’t even want to waste time writing about it, I just want to show you so that you can get in the kitchen and make it.
But first, a note on popcorn itself. There is definitely a place for microwave popcorn in everyone’s pantry, I get it. However, let me challenge you to make it on the stove, just once, and see if it isn’t just as easy, just as fast, and better tasting. Here’s what you do:
Get a nice large pot out that has a lid. Put a scant 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in it, a heaping 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels, and 3/4 of a teaspoon of popcorn salt. Hunt down some popcorn salt. In Canada it’s always at the Bulk Food Store. It’s insanely cheap that way, and it makes the popcorn (it’s the same stuff the movie theaters use). Turn the heat to medium low, and after 30 seconds or so give the pot a shake to coat the kernels in the now warmed popcorn. When the first kernel pops put the lid on. Give the pot a shake every couple of seconds, and when the popcorn reaches the lid, hold the pot at a slight angel over a large bowl to let the popcorn finish popping right into it.
This is SO much better then the microwave stuff, and it cooks in 3 minutes or less.
Now that you’ve learned how to make incredible standard popcorn, it’s time to kick it up a notch (using the microwave stuff is just fine though).
First off, pop your popcorn and put it in the largest microwave safe bowl that you have.
In a medium (at least 4 cup), microwave safe bowl put the brown sugar, corn syrup, margarine (it HAS to be margarine, butter doesn’t work), and salt.
Throw it in the microwave for 2 minutes (this is all on the high setting).
Give it a stir.
Microwave it again for another 2.5 to 3 minutes. You want it to have a good rolling boil going. This is getting the caramel close to the hard crack stage for us.
Pour in the baking soda.
Give it a really good, quick stir.
Pour it over the popcorn.
Give it a good toss with the spatula, but don’t worry if all the kernels aren’t coated perfectly.
Put the bowl of popcorn in the microwave for 2 minutes. When you take it out, give it a good toss with the spatula and all the kernels will be well coated.
Now, if you take the bowl up and eat it right away, it’ll be piping hot and delicious, but the kernels will also stick together into large clumps as it cools. If you can stand the wait, keep giving the popcorn a little toss with the spatula every two minutes or so until the popcorn starts to cool (about 10 or 15 minutes). Then every kernel will be separated and easy to grab, just like the stuff you buy at the mall.
Here’s you printable: