My mother made the best caramel corn when I was a kid. It was labor intensive to make and the caramel burned easily.
I found a recipe that is so easy and so yummy, that it is dangerous for me to have brown paper grocery bags in my house. I could possibly eat the entire batch in one sitting.
Microwave Caramel Corn
4 quarts popped popcorn, (which is ½ cup popcorn kernels)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Unused brown paper grocery bag
Spray the brown paper grocery bag with non-stick spray. Place the popped popcorn (make sure to remove any unpopped kernels) into a large brown paper bag. Set aside.
In a 2 quart casserole dish, or other heat-proof glass dish, combine the brown sugar, margarine, corn syrup, salt and vanilla. Heat for 1-1/2 minutes in the microwave, and then take out and stir until well blended. Return to the microwave, and cook for 1-1/2 minutes. Take it out and stir it and put it back in the microwave for another 1-1/2 minutes. Remove from microwave, and stir in the baking soda.
Pour syrup over the popcorn in the bag. Roll down the top once or twice to close the bag, and shake to coat the corn. Place bag into the microwave, and cook for 45 seconds on half power. Remove, shake, flip the bag over, and return it to the microwave. Cook for another 45 second on half power. Dump the popcorn out onto waxed paper, and let cool until coating is set. Store in an airtight container.
***After I posted this recipe, the kids and I made some this afternoon:
Reagan popped the corn and sorted out the kernels: