Surprisingly easy to make with just 7 ingredients. Keeps for up to a week for a great make-ahead snack. Perfect for a homemade gift, for an oscar's academy award's party, or for any time your sweet tooth kicks in.
Preheat your oven to 200F (93C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Pop the popcorn in an air popper, or pop with whatever method you normally use (stove top or in the microwave works fine too). Spread the popcorn over the baking sheets. Pick out and discard any unpopped kernels.
In a small saucepan, mix together the brown sugar, vegan butter, agave, salt, and cream of tartar. Put over medium heat and once you reach a foamy boil, cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer, stirring often with a non-stick spatula, being careful not to burn the sugar. Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda. The caramel will get lighter in colour and become very foamy.
Pour the caramel over the popcorn, then stir the popcorn to coat. It's ok if the caramel isn't evenly distributed yet, you can continue to mix it as it bakes. Bake to popcorn for 1 hour, stopping to stir every 20 minutes to help evenly coat the popcorn. Let cool on the baking sheet, then break apart and store in an airtight container. It should stay fresh for up to a week
*Cream of tartar helps to make sure the caramel is smooth and free of crystals. You will be able to find it in your local grocery store in the spice section, or you can order it on amazon. If you don't have it on hand, it's ok to skip it, but the caramel might not be as smooth.
*Adding the baking soda fills the caramel with tiny bubbles, making it light and crisp. Without it, your caramel will be very hard and won't cover the popcorn very well. Don't forget this step! It's easy to forget to add the baking soda, so what I do is set the 1/4 teaspoon measure on top of the popcorn as a reminder to add it before pouring the caramel.