Sweet Cheat Popcorn
I've been trying to make a kettle-corn style popcorn and an easy caramel type popcorn for ages. By "easy" I mean-- one pot, no separate caramel making, no additional baking, with butter and salt being optional. Easy, you know?
Every time I just tried adding a little (1/4 cup or less) brown sugar to the heating kernels (stove top popcorn prep), I'd end up with hard granules attached to the corn. Not quite what I was looking for. Not to mention a little hard on my teeth.
I think I finally did it though. It was a total fluke. While the kernels were heating up (again, stove top prep, kernels cooking in a little oil) I added some brown sugar, like usual. Only this time, instead of just stirring and hoping for the best, I also added a little water.
This made all the difference! The water dissolved the sugar (have to stir this mixture until the kernels start popping, then continue cooking with the cover on, keeping the pot moving), and the whole works boiled and became a syrupy consistency by the time the kernels started to pop. The syrupy mixture cooked onto the newly popped kernels and finally I had easy stove top sweet popcorn! Yum!
Of course, this probably isn't a secret, and many of you out there, likely already knew this. Silly me though for never thinking of it 'till recently. (I worried that adding water to popcorn makes mush; it probably does if the kernels have popped, but not while they're still kernels.)
So, this adds to the many ways you can make popcorn. To this sweet mixture I've drizzled butter on top and added salt. Very tasty! But probably best as an occasional treat.
The best thing is, made this way, it's tasty as-is, which is exactly what I wanted. A little sweet, without the added butter or extra steps trying to make caramel or having to bake it. Still have to be extra careful of the unpopped kernels. Now they'll likely stick to the popped ones. Eat carefully!