In honor of the Ultimate Blog Party going on over at 5 Minutes for Mom, I wanted to contribute yet another fun but frugal party munchie! This one we’ve made every once in a while for a few years, whenever I’m able to get popping corn on sale for cheap. It’s a great accompaniment to my chocolate popcorn recipe. I found that actually popping corn kernels for this recipe works best, unless you find an unflavored microwave popcorn. It’s a good amount of microwaving, but an easy (and cleaner) to make your own caramel corn. Add in a some nuts to give it a Cracker Jack feel.
Microwave Caramel Popcorn
4 quarts popped popcorn (about ½ cup unpopped kernels)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup peanuts(optional)
Place the popped popcorn(and nuts) into a large brown paper bag and 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 3 minutes in the microwave on high, then take out and stir until well blended.
Return to the microwave, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes.
Remove from microwave, and stir in the baking soda.
Pour syrup over the popcorn in the bag. Close up the bag and shake to coat the corn.
Place bag into the microwave, and cook for 1 minute and 10 seconds.
Remove bag, shake some more, and return it to the microwave.
Cook for another 1 minute and 10 seconds.
Dump the popcorn out onto waxed paper, and let cool until coating is set. Store in an airtight container.