This is, hands down, the best caramel popcorn with Spanish nuts on the planet. This is the “adult” Halloween candy we give to family and friends. It travels well. A big tin is always well received as a Christmas gift, and often asked for!

1 cup butter (no substitutes)
3 microwave bags regular popcorn, popped OR 6 quarts air popped popcorn
2 cups salted Spanish peanuts
1-16 ounce package light brown sugar (2 cups packed)
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place popcorn in a huge mixing bowl. I use a canning pot or a clean, large plastic bin. Add the peanuts to the center.

Melt the butter in a heavy sauce pan. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and molasses. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat.

Boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Pour caramel mixture over popcorn starting with the nuts in the center. Stir the popcorn and nuts to coat popcorn evenly. Pour the coated popcorn into 2 large lightly greased roasting pans or 4 (13 x 9 inch) baking pans, spreading into a thin layer.

Bake at 250 ° for 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. The goal is to spread that warm caramel into every nook and cranny.

Cool the pans on a wire rack.

Clean-up is a breeze using hot, soapy water.

When completely cool, transfer to tightly covered tins for storage.

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