It is funny how some memories are closely tied and linked with specific places! For me, when there is any mention of movie theater, my mind and senses directly wander to caramel popcorn. The sense is so strong that Caramel Popcorn’s lovely smell and aroma fill me up!
Sometimes, I believe that my love for the movie theater stems from my love to caramel popcorn. I cannot remember a single time when I went to the theater without getting some caramel popcorn. And, I think that this love relationship with caramel popcorn is a widely shared love affair, for when I go to the movies I notice that most, if not all, buy it, especially the children.
Two years ago, just before mother’s day, my younger daughter kept telling me that this year she has a very special mother’s day gift! Each day she kept repeating “my gift this year, will blow your mind away! it will just blow it away!!”
On mother’s day she presented me with a cook book they prepared at school. The teacher had asked the kids to bring (from their mother) their favorite recipe. She collected the recipes and printed a cookbook for the kids to present to their mothers. One of the recipes was for caramel popcorn.
The minute I opened my present, my daughter insisted I open a specific page, which was the recipe for caramel popcorn. Before that day,I never thought of preparing caramel popcorn at home, but mother’s day of 2011 was a new start, for starting that day my sweet Mariana will ask me every morning “Mom, when will you prepare caramel popcorn?”
Soon afterwards, I prepared caramel popcorn at home and discovered how easy it was. Now, I prepare it frequently for it is the best movie companion. The only flaw of caramel popcorn……. it is addictive!
Caramel Popcorn Recipe
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
3 tablespoon vegetable oil (corn, sunflower or canola)
100 grams butter (4 oz. or one stick butter)
1 1/2 cup brown sugar (I use light brown sugar but you can also use the dark one)
1/3 cup light corn syrup (you can use glucose)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
How to make Caramel Popcorn:
- The first step is to prepare the popcorn. For that, heat the oil well, then add the popcorn kernels and mix them with the oil until all the kernels are coated with oil.
- Cover the pan and leave over medium to high heat until you stop hearing the popping sound. Don’t forget to shake the pan back and forth midway as the popping is intense to move the kernels. If you don’t have a large enough pan, you can prepare the popcorn in batches.
- Spread the popped popcorn in a large baking sheet, making sure that you remove and discard any unpopped kernels.
- Preheat oven to 250° F (95°C).
- In a pot, melt the butter. It is very important to stir the butter while melting so that no portion of the butter burns giving an unpleasant taste to the caramel popcorn.
- When the butter melts, add the brown sugar. corn syrup, and salt. Stir continuously till all the sugar melts and the mixture starts boiling.
- When the mixture starts boiling we let it boil on a medium-low fire for 3 minutes. During this period we don’t need to mix the mixture continuously; we only need to stir it every minute to prevent the bottom layer from burning.
- After the mixture moils for 3 minutes, we add the vanilla and mix.
- After that we close the fire and add the baking soda while stirring the mixture. You will notice that when we add the baking soda the mixture will foam (as in the picture below). This step is very important as it helps to get air into the caramel mixture making it softer.
- We carefully pour the caramel over the popcorn and mix them with a wooden spoon until all the popcorn is coated with caramel.
- Bake the popcorn coated with caramel sauce in the oven for 50 minutes on the first shelf from the bottom. During the baking time, we have to stir the caramel popcorn with a wooden spoon every 15 minutes so no large lumps form.
- After 40 minutes, we mix the caramel popcorn well, breaking any large lumps. After the 40 minutes, shut the oven but leave the pan with the caramel popcorn in it for another 15 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and set aside to cool. After that break the popcorn into small pieces.
Keep leftovers in a tightly sealed plastic bag or container.
Hope you enjoyed today’s easy sweet recipe: Caramel Popcorn. Bon appetite.
What is your favorite movie theater snack? Caramel popcorn?
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