- 12 cups popped popcorn (from 1/2 cup kernels)
- 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped cashews
- 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 5 ounces white chocolate, chopped
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place popcorn and nuts in a large bowl. Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stir in corn syrup, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook until sugar dissolves, stirring once or twice. Raise heat to high, and bring to a boil (do not stir). Boil, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 248 degrees, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in baking soda.
- Pour caramel over popcorn mixture, stirring to coat thoroughly. Transfer to 2 rimmed baking sheets, spreading in a single layer. Bake 45 minutes, stirring twice. Test doneness by removing a few pieces of popcorn from oven; if they crisp within 1 minute, popcorn is ready. Remove from oven, and immediately sprinkle with remaining salt. Let cool completely.
- Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until melted and completely smooth. Fill a small resealable plastic bag with chocolate, and snip a tiny hole in 1 corner. Drizzle chocolate over caramel corn. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 10 minutes, before breaking up.
Caramel corn can be stored in an airtight container up to 1 week.