16 cups popcorn (fresh popped popcorn works best)
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups dark chocolate or semi sweet chocolate baking chips
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
Combine corn syrup, butter and brown sugar in saucepan; simmer over medium low heat to syrup consistency.
Bring to a slow boil for 5 minutes without stirring.
Remove from heat; stir in baking soda, salt and vanilla.
Pour over popcorn and toss to evenly coat.
Transfer to greased cookie sheets and bake uncovered for 1 hour; stirring several times during baking.
Transfer caramel corn to large bowl and cool; breaking up clumps.
To prepare chocolate covered popcorn: Reserve 8 cups caramel corn (1/2 batch).
Working in small batches, portion 1 cup chocolate chips into microwaveable measuring cup. Microwave for 60 seconds, stir, microwave an additional 20 seconds and stir until chocolate is smooth and melted.
Combine melted chocolate with 2 cups caramel corn and stir to evenly coat; using tongs or fork, transfer chocolate covered popcorn pieces to cookie sheet lined with wax paper and cool.
Repeat steps 9 and 10 with remaining chocolate chips and caramel popcorn.
Cool until chocolate has hardened. Transfer to serving bowls or decorative containers.