I made this for the first time a week ago. I have made 6 batches since. I gave it away as gifts for the holidays. It’s super easy and delicious and you only need a few ingredients!
½ cup popping corn
3 T canola oil
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup earth balance
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
coarse sea salt
Cook the popcorn according to package instructions using 1/2 cup corn and 3 T canola oil. This will make about 6 cups of popcorn. Pour out onto a big piece of parchment paper on the counter and pick out the unpopped kernels, then put it into a really big bowl and set it aside.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium sauce pan combine brown sugar, syrup and earth balance. Stir on low until the earth balance melts. Turn heat to medium-high and cook for 5 minutes, stirring once only. While that’s cooking, measure out the baking soda, salt and vanilla and set them aside so they are ready to add at the 5 minute mark.
Remove from heat and add the vanilla, then add the salt and baking soda, whisk quickly. It will get really bubbly and frothy, don’t over stir. Pour over the popcorn and mix quickly to coat, carefully. I had a few popcorn shaped burns on my hands and arms from this part, it is boiling, sticky sugar!
Pour the coated popcorn out onto your baking sheet and spread it out with a spatula. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and bake for 30 minutes, stirring once at 15 minutes. Pour the caramel corn out onto the parchment paper on the counter and spread out to let it cool. I hit it with another light sprinkle of sea salt too. Let it cool for 10 minutes, enjoy.