Cooking spray or vegetable oil
18 cups of popped popcorn (about ⅔ cup/65 g unpopped kernels)
8 tablespoons (1 stick/110 g) unsalted butter
1½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
¼ cup (85 g) honey
¼ cup (85 g) light corn syrup
1 teaspoon (6 g) baking soda
2 teaspoons (10 g) kosher salt
Extra-large (6- to 8-quart) bowl (with enough room to toss popcorn) (ed note: you can also split the popcorn between two smaller bowls)
2 heatproof spatulas and/or wooden spoons
Lightly coat the bowl and the heatproof spatula with cooking spray. Place the popped popcorn in the bowl and set it all aside.
Melt the butter in a medium-sized (4-quart) saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the sugar, honey, and corn syrup, stir to combine. Bring to a boil, and insert the candy thermometer. Stirring often and scraping the bottom of the pot to prevent scorching, cook the mixture to 300°F/150°C (hard crack stage), 5 to 8 minutes.
Remove the caramel mixture from the heat, add the baking soda, and stir thoroughly. Careful: This will cause the mixture to foam slightly.
Pour the caramels carefully and evenly over the popcorn and, using both spatulas, toss it constantly—like tossing a salad—until all the popcorn is coated with caramel, 8 to 10 minutes. (The more you toss, the less the popcorn will clump and the more even the coating will be.)
When the popcorn is coated but still warm, sprinkle the salt evenly over it and toss a few more times to distribute. Allow the popcorn to cool completely in the bowl, about 15 minutes.
Immediately store the popcorn in an airtight container or zip-top plastic bag; it will keep at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Read more about this recipe in our cookbook review: Enjoy the Sweet Life with Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook!