Makes 4 quarts
To easily clean the caramel-crusted pot, add water and boil until the caramel is liquid. Pour down the drain and wash as normal.
Line two large baking sheets with foil. Combine the popcorn and pecans in a very large bowl. Set aside. Combine the baking soda, cayenne and garlic powder. Set aside. In a 4-quart saucepan (or larger) combine the sugar, salt, butter and water. Cook the sugar over medium high heat, without stirring, until the sugar lightly bubbles and turns light golden. This takes about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Set the pot in the sink, in case the caramel bubbles over. Quickly, whisk in the baking soda mixture. It will bubble vigorously. Immediately, pour the caramel over the popcorn. Using two heat-safe rubber spatulas, toss the popcorn, completely coating the popcorn with caramel. Turn out the popcorn onto the foil-lined baking sheets. Spread into one layer. When the popcorn is cool enough to handle, break into bitesized pieces. Keeps one week, stored in an airtight container.