Mmmmm....butter! Is there another ingredient that can add so much depth, richness and flavor to a dish? As my curves can testify, I love butter. Probably not to the Paula Deen extent, but please don't offer me anything but butter to spread on my bread, to bake in my cookies or to whip in my frostings. There is just no substitute....well, except for this one recipe exception.
I'm sure Alton Brown could explain the science behind why, but if you make this recipe with butter, the caramel turns grainy when you bake it. I know it goes against your better judgement, but use margarine for this recipe and it turns out perfect! I also pop my popcorn on the stove in hot oil because I like this recipe better with oil popped corn versus air popped. This make a lot of corn so I use my big 8 qt metal bowl to mix it in and I just put the whole bowl in the oven to bake it. Feel free to add in peanuts if you like or to drizzle some chocolate over the finished product....YUM!
makes 6 quarts
from A Family Raised on Sunshine by Beverly Nye
6 quarts of popped popcorn, unpopped seeds removed
2 sticks of margarine
2 C brown sugar
1/2 C corn syrup
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1. In a medium saucepan, melt together the margarine, sugar, syrup and salt. Bring it to a full boil and then remove from heat. Mix in the soda and the vanilla.
2. Pour caramel over the top of the popcorn and mix thoroughly until popcorn is evenly coated with caramel mixture.
3. Bake at 250 degrees for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Allow corn to cool completely before packaging.