Caramel Popcorn

February 3, 2008

Just the ticket for a great football game … SAM

8 ounces popcorn, popped (8 quarts popped)
2 cups salted peanuts
1 cup salted butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper or to taste
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond flavoring

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Pop the corn according to the directions on the package and, in a large bowl, combine with and peanuts. In a saucepan, combine the butter, corn syrup, sugars, salt, and cayenne. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the soda, vanilla, and almond flavoring. Pour over the popcorn mixture and toss well. Spread on three ungreased 15- by 10- by 1-inch jellyroll pans. Bake for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Cool on the pans, stirring occasionally. Store in airtight containers.
Makes 8 1/2 quarts.

Adapted from Emily’s cookbook All-American Comfort Food.