The only thing that can possibly temper this salty/sweet addictive bit of popcorn madness is a splash of iced chamomile. It's your only hope against slamming down fistful after fistful of this buttery, sweet treat. I have a weakness for popcorn and always wanted to make my own caramel/cracker jack version. I fell hard for lightly caramelized corn while living in Southern India of all places. Each weekend, we'd go to see a film at the local theater and they served impossibly scrumptious caramel corn at the concession stand (usually we were viewing some bawdy American blockbuster or far out Bollywood number). In India, they have an intermission during the movie and everyone scuttles out to refill their snack treats. We always went back for another caramel corn . . . Making it back to our seats just in time for the second half.
Adapted from October's Martha Stewart Living
Makes a big bowl of popcorn
4 tablespoons butter
10 cups plain unsalted popped (from 1/2 cup kernels) popcorn
1 cup peanuts
1/2 cup large coconut shreds
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
flake salt (I like Maldon or Jacobsen Salt, made here in Portland)
Preheat oven to 300. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place popcorn, peanuts and coconut in a large bowl and set aside.
In a small saucepan, bring butter, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons water to a boil, stirring constantly. Working quickly, drizzle popcorn with sugar syrup, and toss.
Spread popcorn evenly on prepared baking sheet. Bake, tossing occasionally, until golden and shiny, about 30 minutes. Let the popcorn cool and serve in cute paper bags.