Megan's Chocolate Caramel Popcorn

For Popcorn:
Pop 1/2 cup of popcorn kernals in a large pot with some oil, or in the microwave in a paper bag with a 1/2 tsp of oil (takes about 2min to 2:30 to fully pop in most microwaves). Place popcorn in a bowl coating sprayed with non-stick spray.

For Caramel:
In a medium or large saucepan, combine:
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 cup Corn Syrup
8 tbsp (1 stick) Unsalted Butter
heaping 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
Over medium heat, dissolve all ingredients, stirring constantly.
Once dissolved, stop stirring. This is important because otherwise the caramel will crystalize and your popcorn will be ugly (but still tasty)

Without stirring the caramel, over medium heat, heat the caramel to 285 degrees F (about 5min of boiling). As it cooks, it will get darker in color. If it starts smoking, you can take it off any time after 250 degrees F, but the caramel might be slightly sticky.

Once it hits the desired temperature, take off the heat and immediately stir in:
1 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips 
until melted and combined with the caramel

1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp Vanilla

The caramel may foam slightly (although this is less obvious with the chocolate mixed in then it is in other recipes)

Pour the caramel over the popcorn and stir thoroughly to coat. Spread popcorn onto parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. If, while trying to coat the popcorn with caramel, the caramel gets too cool, this step can be difficult. You can either put the popcorn into the warm pot that you have made the caramel in if it is large enough and continue stirring, or you can stick the partially coated popcorn into a hot oven at 285 for 5-10min, and then stir the caramel around to make the coat more even. If you put it in the oven, it will end up less pretty, but if you only do the reheating once, it won't crystallize too much.  Let cool fully, then store the popcorn in an airtight container.


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