Have I ever told you that I am obsessed with movie musicals? Of course I haven’t, because it is horribly embarrassing. Nevertheless, Mamma Mia, Hairspray, Footloose, I love them all. It’s really a treat to watch one of these movies with me, because I can recite just about every single song, word for word, without missing a beat. Obviously, because I’ve got the beat, ladies and gents. Sit me down on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and I will watch Colin Firth or Pierce Brosnan sing as many Abba songs as they please. Playing Harry Headbanger is one of Mr. Firth’s finest roles to date, if you ask me. I guess you could call all of this song and dance my guilty pleasure, but I don’t really feel that guilty about it. Dancing Queen is my shower song. Sue me.
Let me tell you about this sweet, sticky caramel popcorn that I made today. Because in my mind, you will be making this tonight and watching a musical of your choice. First of all, I popped my own popcorn (like not in a bag in the microwave) and it was a mind-blowing experience. What? You can do that? Yes, yes you can. That freshly popped popcorn is then coated in a sweet, simple homemade caramel mixture. Since I have all of this caramel corn lying around, it feels like my night would be best spent watching Grease.
- 1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
- ¼ cup popcorn kernels
- 1½ cups sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- Spray two large spatulas and a large mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the popcorn kernels, cover the pan, and cook for about 4 minutes, lightly shaking the pan often, until all of the kernels are popped. Transfer the popcorn to the greased bowl.
- Combine the sugar, water, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes without stirring, until the mixture turns a very light caramel color. Remove from the heat and whisk in the baking soda.
- Pour the caramel over the popcorn and gently toss with the greased spatulas, until all of the popcorn is well coated. Pour the popcorn onto a large rimmed baking sheet and break into small pieces. Let cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.