Considering the number of recipes we run in the course of a year, it's a little embarrassing to put something as childish as caramel corn in a small list of favorites. But this caramel corn was on almost everybody's list--it's the sort of stuff that turns even sophisticated adults into greedy kids.
14 cups popped popcorn
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Remove any unpopped kernels from popcorn. Place popcorn in buttered metal bowl and keep warm in 200-degree oven.
Combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt in heavy saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Boil, without stirring 5 minutes, or until mixture reaches 255 degrees on candy thermometer.
Removing mixture from heat and add baking soda (candy will foam). Stir well. Pour mixture over popped corn and toss with buttered forks to distribute evenly. Spread onto 2 ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 200 degrees 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
Cool caramel corn completely. Break into clusters. Store tightly covered. Makes about 3 1/2 quarts.
If desired, 1 cup nuts may be added to caramel mixture just before pouring over popped corn.