Preparation / Directions:
1. Combine sugar, butter, corn syrup, water and salt in a large saucepan
over medium heat. You're going to bring the candy to 265-275 degrees,
or what is known as the hard ball stage. For this it's best to use a
candy thermometer. If you don't have one, don't worry. Drip the candy
into a small glass of cold water. If the candy forms a very hard, yet
slightly pliable ball, bingo, you're there. Watch your mixture closely
so that it doesn't boil over.
2. While candy cooks, pop both bags of popcorn and spread about 2 quarts
or 1 1/3 bags of popcorn on one large or two small cookie sheets.
Put the popcorn in your oven set on its lowest temperature. This will
keep the popcorn hot so that the candy will coat better.
3. When your candy has reached the hard ball stage, add the vanilla.
4. Pull the popcorn from the oven and, working quickly, pour the candy
over the popcorn in thin streams. Mix the popcorn so that each kernel
is coated with candy, put the popcorn back into the oven for five more
minutes, then stir once again. This will help to coat each kernel.
You can repeat this step once more if necessary to get all of the
popcorn coated. Pour popcorn onto a large sheet of wax paper to cool .
Spread the popcorn out, but be careful...it's hot.
5. When popcorn is cool, break it up and immediately put it into a
tightly sealed container, such as Tupperware. This will ensure that
it stays fresh. This stuff gets stale very quickly in moist climates