This is 2 batches one wrapped ready for giving and the second cooling. I have enough for all my favorite people.
OK, Maybe the "Best" in a world is a little presumptuous but it just might be. It makes a lot and is very easy. If you are going to cook something during the Holidays it should be a lot so you can share.
Pop 4 hot air poppers of corn using 1/3 C. of corn for each batch. (Go get a hot air popper at DI if you don't have one. This is all I use mine for.) Put the popped corn in a very large bowl or pan.
(I bought a plastic bowl that holds about 5 gallons to make this in. A very big soup pot will work)
In a large heavy pan or Dutch oven stir together:
¾ C. butter
½ C. Honey
2 C. Brown Sugar
½ C. Whipping cream (can use evaporated milk it tastes almost as good)
After a good boil starts boil 4 minutes or 4 1/2 minutes if you like crisper popcorn.
Remove from heat add:
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Baking Soda
3-4 Cups unsalted nuts (Can use toasted almonds, mixed nuts, peanuts, cashews…but no salt)
Stir the nuts into the caramel mixture after the soda and vanilla and pour over the popcorn. Stir to coat popcorn thoroughly. Put two sheets of wax paper together about 2 feet long each on a counter or table and spread the popcorn out in a shallow layer to dry for an hour or two.
If you want to make is especially decadent: (My family now insists on the chocolate) melt 2 - 12 oz. pkg. of good milk choc. chips like Giradelli or bulk chocolate chopped up and pour over the popcorn. This is how I melt chocolate: chopped up or chips in a shallow glass dish and in the oven with the oven light on. It takes 4-5 hours but the low heat keeps it from going grainy. I block of chocolate in the oven light overnight will melt without chopping. Or you can put the chopped chocolate in a glass bowl and set it over a pot of very hot water and stir until melted.