Sunday, December 16, 2007

Microwave Caramel Corn

In the spirit of the holidays, I thought I'd add another treat to those already shared. This caramel corn is good anytime, but for some reason my family only made it around Christmas. It's pretty simple.

5 c. popped corn (Note: 1/2 c. unpopped = 12 c. popped)
2 T. dark or light corn syrup
4 T. butter (or margarine--even lite margarine works)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 t. vanilla
1/4 t. baking soda

Place popped corn in a paper grocery bag. In a glass bowl or measuring cup, microwave syrup, butter, and brown sugar for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir. Microwave for 1 minute more. Stir. Add vanilla and baking soda. Stir. Mixture should get foamy. Pour syrup over popped corn in bag. Close bag and shake. Place bag in microwave for 1 minute*. Shake again and microwave 1 minute* more. Spread on cookie sheet (no need to grease) and allow to cool.

*When I made this before I got married these times worked great. Then I used our new microwave and the popcorn got overcooked. Now I do 30 seconds/30 seconds, give or take. You might want to just play with it, but if you have a new-ish microwave, it's probably more powerful than the ones used when this recipe was written (which was a LONG time ago). Generally, the longer you cook it the darker and crunchier the caramel corn will be. Shorter times result in lighter, chewier caramel corn. It depends on how you like it.

Another note: Like I said, this was written a long time ago. I recently read that it's not good to cook things (namely turkeys) in paper bags because of chemicals used in production. I've never had a problem with this recipe (so far all of my children have turned out fine), but if any of you know that there is a problem with microwaving food in paper bags, let me know. And let me know if you know of any alternatives because even if it's not unhealthy, paper bags in the microwave are bulky and hard to work with.

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