12/21/04: In the year since I discovered this recipe, I’ve figured it out and perfected my technique. Now I hardly ever burn it, even using a tricky electric stove.
10/1/07: Three years later, I still love this stuff, but I’m watching my sugar intake, so it’s become a rare, special treat. Dang…at least popcorn is still considered a “whole grain!” One thing I’ve learned is to spread the finished popcorn on a rimmed baking sheet when it’s done, so that it’s easier to pick out any “old maids.” These are not such a problem with regular popcorn, but when caramel-coated, they become hard enough to break even the strongest teeth.
Combine 1/3 C popcorn, 1/3 C sugar, and 1/4 C water.
(12/21/04: I make a larger batch these days, using 1/2 C popcorn, 1/3 C sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, and just enough water to mix it all up.)
In a 2- or 3-qt saucepan, heat 3 T oil. When it’s hot, stir in the popcorn mixture (careful — it will splatter badly). Cover, turn heat to medium or medium-low, and cook, shaking constantly until it’s done popping. It will take longer to start popping than popcorn usually does.
(12/21/04: I use a 2-quart teflon pan. When the oil is hot, I pour the popcorn mixture in, and it doesn’t splatter as badly as I expect. Bring it to a boil and watch it constantly with the lid off. The goal is to boil off the water and reduce the sugar and oil to a thick syrup. At that point, it will start popping. Then you want to pop the lid on, quickly, and shake it like crazy, more than you shake regular popcorn.)
Remove from heat immediately to avoid burning. Sprinkle with salt before serving.
(12/21/04: Dump it into a nice large bowl or pan to cool, or you’ll have one big popcorn ball. Also, I put the salt right in with the popcorn.)