Saturday will be a full day. We will spend time with my husband's grandparents, and then spend the rest of the day tailgating with family until the evening kickoff (translation: full bellies all day long)! Usually everyone brings something to contribute, so I have been racking my mind, thinking about what I can bring along on the airplane. Something light, something fall, something yummy. Caramel corn. Perfect.
14 cups plain popped popcorn (scant 2/3 cup unpopped kernels)
1 cup honey roasted peanuts
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup cranberries
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Place the popped popcorn and peanuts in two large roasting pans.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and butter over medium heat. As the butter starts to melt, stir to mix completely. When the mixture begins to boil, stir constantly for five minutes. Remove from heat and mix in the baking soda and vanilla extract. Pour the caramel over the popcorn and stir a couple of times (not all of the popcorn will be coated).
Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. After 30 minutes, stir in the cranberries. Turn the popcorn out onto parchment paper, break apart, and allow to cool. Try not to eat it all at once!