{Holiday Treats} Caramel Corn

     I really enjoy making people's bellies happy.

      If you're like me, then one of your favorite things about cooking is sharing your good eats with those you love. And what better time of year to share than during this season of giving.  This caramel corn would be a great addition to any holiday gift basket.  Just package it up with a pretty bow and you have yourself a simple and inexpensive gift.  It would also be an awesome treat to have around at your holiday party.

       Whatever you do, do not make this when you are home alone, unless you have the ability to walk away from things that keep tasting like just one more bite.  You'll hate yourself in the morning when you're running that extra 3 miles.  Besides, you'll want someone to share that guilt deliciousness with anyway.

Caramel Corn

3.5 ounces unpopped popcorn kernels, popped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pre heat oven to 250 degrees.  Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  Coat a very large mixing bowl with cooking spray and add plain popped corn.

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter, water, corn syrup, sugar and salt. Simmer over medium high heat, stirring frequently until mixture reaches 250 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Turn off heat and whisk in vanilla and baking soda (it will foam so be careful).  Immediately pour over popcorn.  Gently fold in caramel with a rubber spatula until popcorn is completely coated.  Transfer mixture to lined baking sheet.

Bake for one hour stirring every 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 2o to 30 minutes.  Store in an air tight container for up to 5 days.

Makes about 10 cups.

adapted from Ezra Pound Cake

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