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Chocolate Caramel-Nut Popcorn

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Chocolate Caramel Nut Popcorn

24 cups popped popcorn
3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
2/3 cup water
6 tablespoons stick butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Spread popcorn in 2 large, deep roasting pans. Bring sugar, corn syrups and water to boil in 4-quart saucepan. Add butter and cook, stirring occasionally, until a candy thermometer registers 300 degrees F to 310 degrees F. When mixture forms hard, brittle threads, it’s ready. Remove from heat. Carefully stir in salt, baking soda and vanilla extract. Because the candy is very hot, the vanilla extract will spatter and the mixture will foam. Pour over popcorn and stir to coat. Let cool. Store airtight.

Up to 2 days before giving, break up large chunks, spread coated popcorn on two cookie sheets. Melt chocolate chips according to package directions. Drizzle over popcorn and, before chocolate hardens, sprinkle with almonds. Let stand at room temperature until chocolate hardens. Store airtight.

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