My friend Stephen makes the best caramel corn in the world! I hastily jotted down his recipe during chorus rehearsal last week and since I don't have a microwave oven at home - can you even believe it?! - I've tried it at work. I LOVE THAT STUFF! I guess, I have to get my own microwave oven now... ;-)))
1 bag microwavable popcorn - use your favorite brand!
1/3 cup melted butter
1/3 cup corn syrup
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Tip: Use a 4-quart Pyrex bowl for cooking the caramel. A Tupperware or Rubbermaid bowl will melt. TRUST ME! Oh, and it'll smoke, too... ;-)))
Preparation (about 20 minutes):
1. Pop the corn following the directions on the bag. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes, stir.
3. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minutes, stir.
4. Microwave on HIGH for 2 to 3 minutes (for light to dark caramel), stir.
5. Add baking soda and vanilla extract, stir. Add the popped corn to the mixture, discard any "old maids" (= unpopped kernels ;-) ). Stir from the bottom up, using a wooden spoon or spatula.
6. Microwave on MEDIUM-HIGH for 1 minute, Stir. Repeat once.
7. Spread caramel corn on waxed paper or non-stick cookie sheet, making sure all clusters are broken up. Let cool.
Left-overs - although I highly doubt there will be any - can be stored in an airtight container or zipper bag ... enjoy!