In 1921, a German born clockmaker quit his well respected job to open a popcorn stand in Chicago’s Wicker Park District. The clockmaker’s typical fare was freshly popped popcorn drizzled with warm butter and sprinkled with salt; but his favorite, and most beloved popcorn, was his caramel coated popcorn. The recipe he used to make it was given to him from his only true love, who tragically died four years earlier during World War I. The tattered and torn recipe, which was scribbled on the inside of an old playbill, was carefully framed and sealed in an exquisite frame. The clockmaker faithfully took the framed recipe with him everywhere he went.
By the summer of 1924, the clockmaker’s caramel coated popcorn had captivated the entire city’s attention; everyone was frantically lining up at his busy stand to buy the sweet, sticky confection. A few months later, just as the clockmaker was preparing to close his stand for the day, a small fire ignited near the stove. The clockmaker instinctively ran out to call for help. When he returned, just seconds later, he remembered leaving the framed recipe hanging on the wall. The clockmaker quickly ran into the burning stand to retrieve the recipe, but he never made it out.
When the fire inspectors went into the charred ruins to investigate the accident, they found the clockmaker’s frame lying in a pile of smoking debris. The frame was in pristine condition; not a dent, nor a blemish, could be seen on it. However, the recipe was gone.
The recipe for the clockmaker’s caramel popcorn recently surfaced and is beginning to circulate around the globe. Unfortunately, many people think the recipe is haunted because it is believed that if your clock stops running after making the recipe it’s because the clockmaker has paid you a visit in hopes of reclaiming his long, lost recipe.
NOTE: This recipe, as written, results in a sticky, chewy caramel popcorn. If you prefer a crunchier caramel popcorn, bake it in the oven at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.