Caramel Corn

My mom made caramel corn a lot when we were growing up.  I love it.  I don't like buttered popcorn very much, and I don't like movie popcorn or microwave popcorn at all.  When I moved out of my parents house, I would occasionally buy caramel corn.  It's my favorite.  Then I had my oldest kiddo who came with a severe peanut allergy.  All of a sudden, I couldn't have caramel corn because I couldn't find any that didn't have peanut traces.  Sad.

Then I remembered Mom.

This caramel corn is really not hard.  I know, I know, many of you are afraid to try the candy-making thing.  Don't be afraid.  You can do it.  Remember, I've doubled it in the pictures.

Caramel Corn

Popped popcorn - about 2-3 batches in your whirly pop (about 1 cup unpopped corn) or 2-3 bags of microwave popcorn (seriously, do it on the stove, it's soooo much better)
If you want salted caramel flavor, salt the popcorn.

2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/4 - 1/3 cup molasses
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon baking soda

Place the sugar, butter, molasses and water in a large pot.  Heat to boiling, stirring frequently.  Keep boiling until candy reaches 275 degrees on a candy thermometer. 

If you don't have a candy thermometer, drop a bit in ice water.  If it forms a hard mass - like candy -  it's ready. 
OR, do like I do, if a drip from the spoon spins a thread, like a spider web, that flits around in the air - it's ready.
Take off of the heat.  Add the baking soda and stir like crazy.  It will bubble up.  It's pretty cool.
Pour over your popcorn and stir until the popcorn has cooled and hasn't clumped together.

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