make it in the microwave

I know some people don’t trust the microwave, and I personally don’t do much actual cooking in mine. It just feels wrong to cook meat or bake a cake that way. I think a microwave is brilliant for certain tasks though — reheating food (there just isn’t an easier way), making popcorn (of course — and you don’t have to buy it in a chemical-laden package to do so), and making candy. What? Yes. You’re making something with almost no nutritive value anyway, so why worry about radiating it? And it really is faster and easier than stirring something over the stove.

We’ve made microwave peanut brittle for years, and this delicious and easy fudge recipe. But I just discovered the microwave is a brilliant way to make caramel corn. Raise your hand if you love caramel corn, but it always seems like way too much work. This recipe is good enough and easy enough to ruin your diet. Also, it’s ready in about five minutes, if you have a sudden craving. Or if you need a last minute party treat (which is how I discovered this in the first place). You’ll want to double it, at least, but you may need to do several batches if you’re making a bunch. My bowl and my microwave were big enough to double it, but couldn’t have handled more.

Crunchy Caramel Corn

  • 6 cups popped popcorn
  • 3/4 cup salted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter (no substitutes)
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Place popcorn and peanuts in a large microwave-safe bowl; set aside. In another microwave-safe bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt. Cover and microwave on high for 1 minute; stir. Microwave 2 minutes longer.
  2. Stir in vanilla and baking soda. Pour over popcorn mixture. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 3 minutes, stirring several times. Spread on greased baking sheets to cool. Store in an airtight container.

I did it without peanuts, but it would be delicious with. My popcorn already had some salt on it, and Matt found the finished product too salty, so consider adding a little less salt.

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5 thoughts on “make it in the microwave

  1. Amanda Stringham

    Great recipe! We’ve been doing microwave caramel corn for years. To make it even easier, put your popcorn & peanuts in a brown paper bag, pour your caramel over the top, micro for 1 min. take out & shake, put it back in for 1 more minute, then you can just squeeze the bag to break it up after it cools a bit. Clean up is as easy as chucking the bag when you’re done! Also, try subbing your brown sugar for white, then throwing in a small box of any flavor of jello for some yummy flavored popcorn. Have fun!

    Reply
    1. liz Post author

      The bag is such a good idea Amanda! Too bad I live in a country right now where they don’t use paper bags. Can’t find one anywhere — weird, right? I’ll file this idea away for when we return to the good old USA.

      Reply
  2. Robin

    I remember making home made caramels in the microwave in some cooking class in 9th grade. Of course, being fifteen, I didn’t keep it, but unfortunately I have never since found another microwave recipe for caramels that worked very well. This doesn’t look like it would work for that, but it does look yummy. And if you do happen to find a recipe for microwave caramels, let me know. :)

    Reply

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