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Smoky-Salty Caramel Corn

Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Linda Hirst
Prep time 6 mins
Cook time 25 mins
Bake time 45 mins
Yield Makes 14 cups
You'll plan a movie night with friends and family just to have an excuse to make an extra large batch of this sweet-meets-salty popcorn treat. Serve in a festive bucket for maximum cuteness.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels, freshly popped
  • 1 (6-ounce) can whole smoked almonds
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

How to Make It

  1. Line 1 large, rimmed baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil or parchment paper; set aside. Combine popcorn and almonds in a very large bowl; set aside.

  2. Combine butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar in a large (3-quart), heavy pan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium, and bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until mixture reaches 254° (very hard ball) on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat.

  3. Stir in salt, baking soda, and vanilla extract. (Mixture will bubble.) Quickly pour mixture over popcorn and nuts; toss gently to coat. Transfer popcorn mixture to prepared baking sheet.

  4. Bake at 250° for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven; cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.