It seems like salted caramel is a big deal these days. Have you noticed? Maybe it's always been a big deal and I'm just noticing, not sure. It had been a while since we had caramel popcorn at our house. We were so hooked and the kettle corn (still are) that we made it every time we wanted sweet popcorn. Then, Jesse posted a caramel popcorn recipe on her blog and I saw the pictures. I really shouldn't look at food blogs because then I get things in my head. I just can't help it. Her recipe was a little different than the one I had been using. Not a lot. All the same ingredients, just a little less butter and more brown sugar. I decided to try hers since there was less butter, I figured it's healthier, right? (I know, I am delusional. Just go with me on it.) I had somecoarse salt on hand for something else and decided to try salted-caramel popcorn, just to be cool like everyone else. I guess everyone has a point with this salting business because it was so addicting. This isn't the kind of popcorn you can eat and play cards at the same time. It's gooey decliciousness will get in the way, but who can play cards with one hand while using the other to shove popcorn in their mouth anyway? Perfect movie-night popcorn. Needless to say everyone loves it. You can double this to use the whole can of milk if you are having a party, but this is plenty for our family.
Slightly adapted from Diaries of a Cookaholic
2 bags microwave popcorn (or about 4 quarts popped if you don't want to use bags)
1/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 tsp salt (if you popped your own popcorn, increase this to 1/2 tsp)
2 large bowls
Coarse salt to serve
In a saucepan, melt butter, add corn syrup, brown sugar, milk and salt. Heat to boiling and simmer until sugar is dissolved (about 4-5 minutes). Empty popcorn into a bowl, shake and toss the bowl for a couple minutes so that all the kernels slide to the bottom of the bowl. Using your hands, take handfuls at a time and transfer popcorn to the other bowl
Until all popcorn is transferred.
Pour caramel over popcorn
and mix with a spatula to combine well.
Sprinkle with coarse salt to taste and serve.
Don't have sweetened condensed milk? In college, we used to make caramel popcorn with 1 stick of butter, 1 cup of brown sugar and 1 cup of corn syrup (boil until sugar dissolves and pour over 2 bags of microwave popcorn). My roommate Kjirsten (Valerie, you were there :)) introduced me to it and that was my favorite recipe for about 10 years. It's still delicious, but I think you add sweetened condensed milk to anything, it's bound to make it better. On nights we NEED caramel popcorn (it happens), but don't have the milk, we still make it that way.
Have a great weekend!