You can leave the nuts out completely or add a combination of whichever lightly toasted nuts you like. Package this up in paper or plastic bags (decorated by the kids) or store in airtight containers. This is sure to be a hit!
- 6 ServingsServings
- 1 cup blanched almonds, pecans, peanuts, or other nut
- 2 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels, or 10 cups popped corn
- salt – to taste
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup golden corn syrup
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Toast nuts lightly in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and transfer to a large metal or glass bowl that's been sprayed with vegetable oil. Lower the oven temperature to 250°F.
Pour the oil into a large pot and swirl until there's an even coating of oil on the bottom of the pot. Add the popcorn, cover and place over high heat. After a few minutes you will hear the popcorn start to pop; shake the pot a couple of times and leave on the heat until the popping sounds start to slow down to once every 10 seconds or so, and all of the popcorn has popped.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the popcorn to the bowl with the nuts. If you see any unpopped kernels, remove and discard. Lightly salt the popcorn, tossing to disperse the salt and set aside until the caramel is ready.
In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup and butter over medium heat. As the butter melts, mix everything together then bring to a simmer. Let the mixture simmer without stirring until the temperature reaches 250°F, 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the baking soda and vanilla and whisk in.
Carefully pour the caramel over the popcorn and use a large spoon to stir through, trying to make sure all of the popcorn and nuts get some of the caramel. Divide the popcorn between two baking sheets lined with parchment paper and place in the preheated oven for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.