When I was a kid, my mom would fill a big brown paper bag with popcorn, drizzle with a hot brown sugar mixture... and shake! She has an old hand written recipe from my kindergarten teacher, and has always made caramel corn this way.
Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
Green Food coloring
Red candy hearts
Red, green, and white nonpareils
Find the full recipe HERE.
The funny thing about making it our "easy" way was that we still had a wild time making it. We burned some sugar, we had some color mishaps and we tripped a breaker in the kitchen.
Just imaging us in the kitchen with windows wide open to the neighborhood. We were all in matching red Christmas pajamas (something that had never happened before), with a baby over one arm and kids with bags of popcorn and sugar sprinkles in containers that were less like salt shakers and more like wide mouth pitchers.
While it was warm, we poured the popcorn onto wax paper and went crazy with the salt and sprinkles. And we ate it as we went.
The young woman that lives next door kept on walking by the window. At first I think she was shocked to see us all in matching pajamas, acting crazy in the kitchen. By the third trip to her car, she was laughing... and I suspect she wanted to be a part of our holiday family fun.