Holiday Caramel Popcorn

Growing up, I used to love when my parents got one of those popcorn tins for Christmas. You know what I’m talking about, the tins with the three different kinds of popcorn, usually caramel, cheddar and butter flavors. My siblings and I would tear into the tins, eating all of the caramel popcorn first, then the cheddar, and finally leaving the plain butter popcorn for my dad to eat.

We all get enough Christmas cookies from friends and family this time of year, so if you are looking for something different to give, consider making some of this caramel popcorn. It’s easy to make, and it makes a TON, so you can cross a ton of people off you list with just a few bags of popcorn. To make it more festive, I dyed it green and red, but you can skip that step if you’d like.

Holiday Caramel Popcorn
Yields: About 24 cups

3 bags microwave popcorn, popped
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Red and green food coloring

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

In a medium saucepan, melt together the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup.  Bring to a boil, sitting frequently.  Boil over low heat for five minutes.  Remove from heat and add the baking soda and vanilla

Place each bag of popcorn in a 9×13 pan coated with cooking spray.  Pour approximately 1/3 the caramel over one pan of popcorn.  Toss to coat. Place half of remaining caramel in medium bowl and add red food coloring until you reach the desired shade of red.  Immediately pour over second pan of popcorn.  Toss to coat. Add green food coloring to the remaining caramel until you reach desired shade of green.  Immediately pour over third pan of popcorn.  Toss to coat.

Bake for 45 minutes, rotating pans and stirring each pan with a spatula coated with cooking spray every 15 minutes.  Cool completely before serving.

Source: Baked Perfection

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