Caramel Popcorn: A Halloween Tradition

As is the case with any holiday, Halloween has its share of traditions. From crazy costumes to haunted houses to the candy and treats associated with this end-of-October fright-fest, it’s a time that kids-and many adults-look forward to all year.

The neighborhood youth will rush from house to house under the weight of an increasingly heavy goodie bag, then it’s time to go home and sort it all out. Life doesn’t get much better in a kid’s world than that! As they spread their spoils out before them, they’ll find a wide assortment of candy bars, lollipops, and other wrapped candies. And occasionally they might land a little something out of the ordinary which they’ll boast about to their friends or siblings.

But some of the “traditional” fare such as popcorn balls or candy apples have long since been left out of trick-or-treat bags in favor of something that’s a little easier to acquire and distribute¬†How to Make Caramel Popcorn

Ahh, but we reflect back upon the traditions. Remember popcorn balls? Everyone used to end up with a few of these in his or her trick-or-treat bag. But we don’t seem to see them around much anymore. However, still loving (and craving?) the caramel-and-popcorn combination, we’ve simply gravitated towards caramel corn. It’s a delicious staple during the Halloween season.

Caramel popcorn or “caramel corn” is still a very popular and traditional Halloween treat for both kids and adults. The combination of popcorn covered in a caramel coating can be somewhat irresistible, and although you might not decide to hand any out to the trick-or-treaters, family and friends will truly appreciate having some of this sweet stuff available to them.

If you’ve never made it before, you’re wondering, “How exactly do I make caramel popcorn?” For some reason, the thought of making caramel corn is almost as frightening to some as that creepy haunted house down the street (where you’re not really sure if it’s decked out for Halloween or if it’s the real deal!). But actually, the process is pretty simple. And aren’t you lucky! You happen to have instructions on how to make caramel corn right here:

Caramel Popcorn
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 quarts popped popcorn

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place popcorn in a very large bowl. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring for about four minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.

Place in two large shallow baking dishes and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces.

Be careful, because this stuff is so good that you very well might start a tradition around your house. You can hear it now, “Are you gonna be making caramel corn again this year, Mom?”

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