Caramel corn - the cheater's way.

I love a good batch of caramel corn.

Especially if it has some peanuts thrown in for good measure.

What I don't love, however, is messing with things like timers and candy thermometers and CORRECT temperatures and all that sort of craziness.  Apparently I have the patience and attention span of a hungry toddler who missed his nap and who needs to be changed and who is not satisfied with anything that is not sitting on his Mama's lap, thereby preventing her from doing anything even remotely resembling messing with timers and candy thermometers and...  Well, you get the picture.

Not that I know anything at all about THOSE kind of children.

Right, cj? 

Anyway, this recipe is wonderful in its simplicity, and it tastes damn good, too.

5-6 cups popped popcorn.  I used air popped, but microwave would work, too.  Just get a variety that's pretty plain without a lot of seasonings and butter.
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup nuts.  I used mixed nuts, because that's what I had.  Any kind would work.  

Preheat your oven to 350.

Using your mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl.  Use the biggest one you have.  You will think it's too big.  It's not too big.  You'll see.  After it is well mixed, turn the mixer up a bit and keep beating it until it's kinda fluffy.

Now here's the fun part.  Dump all the popcorn and nuts into the bowl.  See?  I TOLD you to use a big bowl.  Using whatever method you can think of, mix the popcorn into the brown sugar/butter mixture.  I found my hands worked quite nicely.  Be careful, though.  You don't want to crush up all your popcorn.  Be gentle.  It will take a while, and you will start to think this recipe is crap and I'm insane.  While it's true I may be a fried chicken short of a church picnic sometimes, this will work.

After it's well mixed, spread it out on a cookie sheet, and bake it for about 10 minutes.  Stir it a time or two while it's baking.

Take it out, let it cool completely, and then store in in an airtight container for however long you need to.

Which won't be long.

Because you will eat it all up.

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