Day two of our food gifting week: salted caramel corn!
2 tsp oil
1 1/2 cup white sugar (beet sugar) or light brown sugar
3 tbsp earth balance (vegan butter)
1 tsp vanilla extract
coarse sea salt
Cover the bottom of a medium pot with the corn kernels, then coat in the oil. Shaking every minute or so, heat the pot until all the corn is popped. (Wait until there’s a couple of seconds between pops.)
Transfer the popped corn into a big bowl. Wipe out the pot and pour in the sugar, butter, and vanilla.
Let it all heat, stirring occasionally to keep it from burning. When the mixture starts to bubble, slowly stir it to bring it all together. When it’s ready, it’ll be consistently liquid and light amber in color. NOTE: Don’t lick or touch the mixture, even if it’s “cooled” on the spoon - the sugar is dangerously hot. Also, don’t stir it too fast or the sugar will start to crystallize.
Pour the caramel over the popcorn, folding it in as you go. Quickly sprinkle a couple of heaping pinches of sea salt over top and fold it in. The caramel will harden pretty quickly, so make sure to evenly coat the popcorn before it does! Be careful to not touch the caramel right after it comes out of the pan - it’s still really hot!
To give as a gift, break it into small chunks and package in a small paper bag, taped over with festive washi tape.