It's kinda funny but even though I was born and raised in a town known for it's caramel popcorn and spent my early years on the beach by the boardwalk filled with the smells of Thrasher's fries with vinegar and Fisher's caramel popcorn, I really didn't start loving caramel popcorn until I spent 2 months working in a maternity clinic in the Philippines. Homesick and needing a change from our normal duties another intern and I set out to make caramel popcorn with her family's recipe. I kept that recipe when I came home but was always looking for an alternative to the corn syrup used in the recipe.
I finally found one and after some tweaking have been pretty happy with the results. The smells of boiling caramel and stirring it into the popcorn always remind me of the many memories that I made in Davao City.
This recipe makes approx. 8 gallons of popcorn. (about 4 c. unpopped popcorn)
Pop popcorn before starting.
8c. organic evaporated sugar cane or brown sugar
2c. heavy whipping cream
Combine and cook over medium heat until melted. Boil for about 1 minute.
Take off heat and add:
2tsp vanilla extract
1 heaping tsp of baking soda
Mix and pour over popped popcorn. Stir until all pop corn is coated.
Spread popcorn in pan and cook in oven on low until lightly browned and crunchy.