I make this popcorn for rooftop movies I host during the summer, served up in individual brown paper bags. Usually at the end of the night, everyone scrambles for that stray bag to take home with them. To help keep my holiday budget in check this year, I thought I'd give this out to my friends—still in the brown paper bags, closed and tied with a ribbon to dress them up a bit. The popcorn's easy and inexpensive to make, and yet the level of impressiveness is almost disproportionally greater than the time and resources required to achieve such a crowd-pleaser. (These are my favorite kinds of recipes—no matter what the season.) —Laura Neilson
In This Recipe
In a large heavy saucepan, heat corn oil over medium-high heat.
Add the corn kernels and sugar. Give everything a good stir with a wooden spoon and then cover the pan, shaking frequently once the corn begins popping.
As the popping slows down (usually to 4 seconds between each pop), remove the popcorn from the stove and toss in a large bowl with 1-2 tbsp of salt, adding more to taste.