My kiddos and I LOVE Kettle Corn! There's something tasty about that salty, sweet, crunch. However, as usual, I don't like paying an arm and a leg (within proportion to the cost of a bag of Kettle Corn, of course) for something that I can easily make myself. When this cool fall weather was calling for a salty and sweet popcorn snack, caramel corn sounded like too much work and too much sugar. Regular popcorn didn't satisfy the sweet. Kettle Corn was the solution!
It's very inexpensive to make, takes less than 10 minutes, and most people like popcorn. It's also Dairy Free, Vegan, Soy Free and Gluten Free, so you can easily share it with a class or crowd of people without worrying about dietary needs. We'll be taking Halloween treat sacks filled with this Kettle Corn to swim class to share. Note: Cross-Contamination might be a concern for those who are more affected by gluten intolerance than others.
I plan on making several different batches of this for my husband to take to work on Halloween, and I will share with you the different variations I'll be preparing. Through photos. Sorry you can't taste!
This Kettle Corn doesn't require anything more than a large saucepan (mine is a 4 quart pan. I wouldn't go smaller than that), the ingredients listed below, and a large cookie sheet. It makes for quick preparation and a quick clean-up.
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/4 Heaping Cup White Sugar
1/2 Cup Popcorn Kernels
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1. In a large saucepan (4 qt.), heat the oil on medium-high (though closer to the medium side) with three kernels of corn. Put the lid on.
2. In the meantime, measure out the sugar, and stir together the cinnamon and salt to make a cinnamon-salt mixture. Also, pull out your cookie sheet. Set aside.
3. After the three kernels pop, leave the lid on and wait 1 minute. Using a large spoon, pull the three popped kernels out, then quickly stir in the sugar until pretty well combined. Pour in the rest of the 1/2 Cup of kernels, and cover the pan with a lid again. Shake the pan (move the pan back and forth over the burner quickly) so all the kernels can be coated with the sugar and oil.
4. Let the kernels sit for about 15 seconds, then shake again. Continue letting them sit for about 15 seconds and then shake for a few seconds until you hear kernels beginning to pop.
5. Once the kernels begin popping, shake for a few seconds, then let the pan sit for a few seconds. Continue shaking then resting until the popping slows down to one popping every one to two seconds.
6. REMOVE FROM HEAT IMMEDIATELY!! Carefully (watch out for any popping stragglers) tilt the pan away from you (and anyone else) and lift the lid. Pour the corn out onto the cookie sheet and use the spoon to spread across the sheet.
7. Once the Kettle Corn is spread over the cookie sheet, sprinkle the cinnamon-salt over the kettle corn. Using either a spoon or your hands, toss to coat with the cinnamon-salt. While tossing, pick out un-popped kernels. They tend to stick to the caramelized popcorn instead of settling to the bottom.
8. Allow to sit until cool enough to eat. Store leftovers in an airtight container (or ziplock).