One of my favorite treats when I was young was homemade caramel corn. Now let me tell you, this was a rare treat indeed. I nearly had to beg with tear-filled eyes to get it because making it left a sink full of dirty dishes and a bit of a mess in the kitchen.
My grandmother would would make the popcorn on top of the stove, as we didn’t have a microwave then, and then she would make the caramel and drizzle it on top of the popcorn and mix it up as fast as possible before all hardened.
There is nothing like it. The caramel corn you buy at the grocery store can’t even come close to homemade. There are pieces that are just barely kissed with caramel, then there are other pieces that are fully enrobed in caramel… nothing perfect and homogeneous about Grandma’s caramel corn and that is part of what made it so good.
I wanted to put a twist on this most delicious treat and elevate it to something you could actually serve to guests (not that I wouldn’t put out a big trough of caramel corn, but you know what I mean).
Instead of making a traditional dulce de leche, I know there is a “cheat” method which simply involves simmering the can with a few holes poked through the top. I must be honest, this never appealed to me.