When we think of backyard barbecues, we often focus on the grill. The juicy burgers, perfectly seasoned steaks, the hot dogs with those awesome grill marks. Or, we think about the side dishes; the beautifully prepared potato salad with red potatoes, onions, celery and hard-cooked eggs, colorful macaroni salad complete with green peppers, fresh cucumbers, and a delicious mayo-based dressing, rich and creamy Cole slaw, those decadent baked beans with molasses and brown sugar, topped with bacon…(anyone else getting hungry?).
But what about later; later when the desserts have seen better days, those sides are down to licking the bowl to get enough to fill a spoon, the meats are nothing but bone. S’mores are good, but what about something that can fill your desire for something sweet, something crunchy, something that will knock your socks off? POPCORN!
Now, I am not talking about just any popcorn, not from the microwave, not from the little tin plate; but tangy, sweet, colorful, crunchy popcorn!
Any flavor your heart desires (as long as that flavor comes in a Kool-Aid packet). This can be made up to 2 days in advance, but is better when done the day before and best when prepared the day of using. Pack it up and take it to the drive-in, munch it on long car rides or while just sitting at home watching a movie.
The recipe is quick, easy and oh so yummy!
1 cup white sugar
½ cup light Karo corn syrup
1/3 cup butter
About 3 quarts of plain popped corn**
1 package Kool-Aid (any flavor)
½ tsp. baking soda
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees F.
- In a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat, melt together butter and corn syrup, then stir in sugar. Stir until the mixture begins to boil, and let it boil for 2 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine your Kool-Aid with the baking soda.
4. Remove sugar syrup from the stove and carefully stir in the Kool-Aid mixture (This may puff or foam; this is normal) and stir until mixed evenly throughout.
- Pour the sugar mixture over the popped corn. (This is easiest when done in a large bowl or 13×9 baking pan.) Carefully mix until the popcorn is well coated.
- Spread the popcorn out on a baking sheet protected with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes. After baking, transfer popcorn mixture to a waxed paper lined baking sheet to cool. Break into pieces.
Inner Chef Notes: **I used close to 3 ½ quarts and I do believe I could have gotten away with 4 to 4 ½ . I say this because I noticed that the popcorn that was not thick with the sugar mixture tended to be less chewy. If I added more popcorn; I think it would have thinned out a lot of that problem.