Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Have a large roasting pan ready to use.
You will need to start with aprox 8 cups of popped popcorn (not microwaved…it’s too salty and oily). I follow the instructions on the popcorn bag and pop in oil in a large pan with a lid, then dump into roasting pan. If you like nuts in your caramel corn you can add the variety and amount you like to the roasting pan with the popcorn.
8 cups popped popcorn
Mixed nuts or peanuts (optional)
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
6 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
In a heavy bottomed medium size (or slightly larger) saucepan, cook sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt over medium heat stirring until it boils. Then cook without stirring for 5 minutes (reduce heat a little if it starts to boil over or looks like it might burn).
Remove from heat and add baking soda and vanilla. Quickly and carefully stir and pour over popcorn (and nuts) in roasting pan. Quickly stir to coat (it will be a little spotty but it covers more evenly after baking).
Bake in a 300 degree oven for 15 minutes (or a little less), remove from oven and stir to coat evenly. Place back in the oven for another 5 or 10 minutes. Remove from oven, stir again then carefully dump onto two cookie sheets, breaking up the larger clumps with a wooden spoon. Allow to cool completely before storing in tightly sealed containers.