This simple caramel sauce is delicious; all you have to do is watch it closely to make sure it doesn’t burn. Also, Chelsea’s tip about making sure you spray the bowl with cooking spray before you toss in the caramel is a must- as is her tip about washing the bowl soon after you use it! Lastly, make sure you also have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go. I don’t want anything to stand in the way of your popcorn joy:)
Preheat the oven to 300. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the sugar and 1/4 cup water to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar. Boil 10-12 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally until the caramel takes on a dark amber color. *Make sure you watch this process; I wasn’t paying attention and let mine get a bit too brown. It was still yummy though!
Remove the caramel from the heat and stir in butter and hot sauce with a long wooden spoon. Don’t be alarmed when it starts to bubble and foam! That’s a good thing! Return to the heat and boil 3 more minutes (or less if you are like me and cooked it a bit hot on the front end).
Remove the caramel from heat and stir in salt, chili powder and baking soda.
Working quickly, pour hot caramel over popcorn and toss to coat. Spread popcorn into an even layer on prepared baking sheet and bake 20-25 minutes until dry (the caramel will not be hardened).
Let cool (DONT TOUCH IT!!) at room temperature, then break it up into large clusters. Seriously, don’t touch it until it’s cooled or your fingers and tongue will burn off.