Line a baking sheet with foil; coat foil with cooking spray. Set aside.
Place popcorn in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal. Crush popcorn using a meat mallet or rolling pin; set aside.
Combine sugar, syrup, and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook 1 minute or until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Cook, without stirring, until candy thermometer registers 270° (about 8 minutes). Stir in molasses and butter; cook until thermometer registers 290° (about 5 minutes). Stir in baking soda, vanilla, and salt. Stir popcorn into boiling syrup mixture. Working quickly, pour popcorn mixture onto prepared pan; spread to 1/4-inch thickness using a wooden spoon coated with cooking spray. Cool completely; break into large pieces.
Note: Store brittle in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days.
I've made this a couple of times now, and it tastes good and seems a straightforward recipe. But it seems odd that it would stop short of caramelizing the sugar and add molasses for color. Why not do it right? Is it a chemistry thing due to the reduced fat? I will continue to make this but I'd like to see a true brittle recipe that uses actual caramel/toffee.
Having always made brittle in the microwave (somehow seems less scary), I did this one by nuking it as well. What a fun combination of brittle and caramel corn! Peanut brittle is usually just a holiday time treat for the family but I think this can be added to a more regular rotation.
This recipe was amazing! It was the easiest brittle I have ever made, and my family liked it more than the tradition peanut brittle (which also carries tons of fat and calories). This is a family favorite and definitely a keeper!
I'm still giggling at how fun this was to make. Yes, the sugar boiling (and subsequent crackling and sticking to EVERYTHING) was a teensy bit terrifying, but it was fun! (Also note, meat thermometers are NOT candy thermometers...just saying lol.) The actual brittle has caused some comical conversations in my office this morning, as no one really expects it to be as chewy and sticky as it is. I love it! For once I can eat brittle and not break my teeth (or my diet)!
This is an amazingly yummy brittle. A real nice change in texture from the usual.
I followed the recipe to the letter. I found mine hit 190 degrees pretty fast.
It is a candy so be prepared for the "scary sugar changes" *heehee* I recommend a helper be on hand at the end since things need to go fast and anything can happen!
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