- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for the baking sheet
- 1/3 cup popcorn kernels (preferably mushroom kernels)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons dark corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 teaspoons roasted peanut oil
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup raw peanuts
Put the vegetable oil and a few test popcorn kernels in a large pot. Heat over medium-high heat until the kernels pop, then carefully add the remaining kernels in a single layer. Cover and cook, shaking the pot, until there are several seconds between pops. Transfer the popcorn to a bowl. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
Wipe out the pot, then add the sugar, corn syrup, molasses, peanut oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the peanuts. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until a candy thermometer registers 290 degrees F, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the popcorn until coated. Transfer the caramel corn to the prepared baking sheet and let cool, then break into small pieces.
Tip: Special "mushroom" kernels pop into these round shapes found in Cracker Jack. Order them from justpoppin.com.
Photograph by Paul Sirisalee