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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.