Caramel Popcorn “Kimmi Crack Corn”
I recently pulled this old favorite out for a party. It was the perfect thing to share as we watched movies. It's sweet, but not too sweet. The addition of peanuts is wonderful, but it can be made without them if someone has a nut allergy.
Beware: Do not put this out before dinner or no one will have room for dinner.
People WILL over eat this. It's SUPER ADDICTIVE!
Typically I'll only make this when a crowd is coming or I'll end up eating too much of it myself.
Be sure to read through directions before starting. Once caramel is cooked you must have everything prepared to be able to work fast.
6 quarts of freshly popped popcorn
1 cup salted butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-4 cups roasted peanuts (to your taste)
large flake kosher salt (optional)
2 jelly roll pans
large stock pot
2 wooden spoons
Important Preparation Tips:
Put the popped corn into a very large pot. I use my large stock pot. The pot must be large enough to mix the caramel into the corn without spilling or touching it with your hands. The caramel will be scalding hot and if you touch it it WILL burn you. Sugar burns really suck. Use the wooden spoons.
Lay out 2 jelly roll pans (cookie sheets with sides) so that you are prepared for the mixing to follow. Do not grease these pans. Do NOT put parchment paper on them either as popcorn will stick to it.
Preheat oven to 250°F.
On the stove top over medium high heat, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup and teaspoon of salt (do not skip this salt.) Bring to a boil while stirring. Once at a boil, boil for 5 minutes WITHOUT STIRRING. Remove from heat. Working fast, stir in the baking soda and salt. Add peanuts and pour over popcorn, getting as much of the caramel out of the pan with a rubber scraper as you can. Any left in the pan will harden quickly. Using the wooden spoons stir to mix well.
Once blended, spread the mixture onto the two jelly roll pans. The caramel will begin to harden quickly so you need to spread it fast.
At this point you may sprinkle a little bit of the large flake salt onto the popcorn. This will give the popcorn a sweet-salty taste. If you don't want the salty taste, don't add the salt in this step. Bake for one hour. Stir occasionally while baking (although sometimes I don't stir at all and it comes out fine... stirring helps to limit pools of the caramel.)
A few short minutes after removing from the oven, remove from the pans. Do not wait too long or you may have trouble getting it out of the pans. I break it up into a large bowl and allow it to cool.
Once cooled, you can store at room temperature in an air tight container.