Caramel-Almond Popcorn

Handmade Holiday Gifts 

December, to most people, means a very long to do list. Hostess, teacher, mailman, etc gifts are always difficult.
Handmade gifts are the best kind, particularly when they’re edible and nicely packaged. Here is an easy recipe that fits the bill.

Caramel-Almond Popcorn

Makes about 18 cups

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup corn kernels
2 Tbs plus 1 1/2 tsp canola oil
2 cups raw almonds
2 cups packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Butter 2 rimmed baking sheets; set aside. Place corn kernels and oil in a large pot over medium-high heat; cover. Once kernels begin to pop, shake pot frequently; when popping slows to about 3 seconds between pops, remove from heat; uncover. Transfer to a large bowl. Add almonds; toss.

Cook sugar, butter, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring, until it reaches 255 degrees.

Remove from heat. Stir in extracts, salt, and baking soda. Pour over popcorn mixture; toss to coat. Divide between prepared sheets. Bake, stirring occasionally, 1 hour 10 minutes. Let cool on wire racks. Popcorn can be stored in airtight containers up to 1 week.