1/2 teaspoon SALT
1 cup BUTTER
2 cups BROWN SUGAR
1/2 cup light CORN SYRUP
1/2 teaspoon BAKING SODA
5 quarts POPPED POPCORN
Pop corn until you have 5 quarts of popped corn. Put into a large bowl, and set aside.
- Put salt, butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup into a heavy-bottomed pot, and stir constantly. Bring to a boil over MEDIUM heat-- then, continue to boil (a "boil" that can't be stirred down) for only 2 minutes. While all of this is happening, just keep stirring all the while and make sure nothing is sticking/burning on the bottom of your pan. (Be careful-- this mixture is so very hot!!!)
- Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda which will cause it to change color a little and foam up.
- After the baking soda is stirred in, pour the very hot mixture over popped popcorn and GENTLY mix --lifting from the bottom and coming up through the kernels until popped kernels are well coated. (Vigorous mixing would break the fragile kernels up too much.)
- Put coated popcorn on a large baking sheet (about 16-inch by 11-inch?) that was ever so LIGHTLY sprayed with non-stick spray.
Below: Because I made a double batch, I had two pans...
5. Bake in a pre-heated 250-degree oven for 1 hour, but you must gently lift/stir it (to sort of separate the "clumps") EVERY 15 minutes.
6. At the end of 1 hour, remove from the oven; stir for the last time and let the caramel corn cool in the pans.
7. When cool, dump into a large bowl and gently break up the largest clusters before putting into whatever kind of containers you choose.
*Recipe from Smurawa's Country Bakery in Pulaski, WI, and you can find them right here: http://www.smurawabakery.com/
Can you imagine ANY small-town bakery selling 20,000 Paczkis on "Fat Tuesday" like they did last year? Well, check this out: http://www.smurawabakery.com/paczki-day (Oh, those "Polish things" are SO GOOD!!!!)