Jenny Park of http://spoonforkbacon.com says: I always double this recipe when I make it because I wind up eating half of it myself! You'll see what I mean if you make it, it's insanely addictive! It's the perfect gift to make for family and friends around the holidays, because it's fairly inexpensive and can be dressed up with pretty packaging. And who doesn't love a homemade gift? (Especially one that tastes this good!) Happy holidays!
Makes 5 quarts (4¾ L)
5½ quarts (5¼ L) popped popcorn
1½ cups (225 g) toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (360 g) light brown sugar
½ cup (120 mL) light corn syrup
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1 tbsp (15 mL) heavy cream
½ tsp (2½ mL) baking soda
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 250°F (120°C).
Pour popcorn and hazelnuts into a very large bowl (or two large mixing bowls), mix together and set aside.
Melt butter in a (medium) saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the sugar, corn syrup and salt until fully incorporated. Bring mixture to a boil, frequently stirring.
Once mixture has come to a boil stop stirring and continue to boil for about 5 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and carefully stir in baking soda (the mixture will vigorously boil).
Stir in the vanilla and pour the caramel sauce over the popcorn. Fold together until mostly combined. Evenly spread the caramel popcorn onto two parchment lined baking sheets, in a single layer.
Bake for about an hour, removing the mixture from the oven every 15 minutes to stir. Transfer the caramel corn onto a baking sheet, lined with wax paper, and allow to cool completely before breaking up into pieces and serving.
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