This popcorn has a sweet and buttery caramel crunch and is super easy to make!
I made this recipe thinking it would be something fun to simply nibble on as I watched the snow fall today. But, I’m not nibbling. I am grabbing this by the handful and eating nonstop!!
Case in point, I just finished writing those two sentences and already had to get up to get more. It’s addicting.
I didn’t think I could make caramel popcorn. I figured it would have been difficult to make. It was actually quite easy, a lot of fun and it came out AWESOME. It was definitely the perfect snack for a snow day. I’m not going to lie; I was a little nervous about making caramel. The last time I tried, it did not turn out well. I discovered that my candy thermometer was broken, while I was in the last stage of boiling. Basically, my candy overcooked and tasted awful. But, the great news here is you don’t need a candy thermometer to make this! The recipe that Once Upon a Chef lays out is very straightforward and easy peasy.
To start, I made my popcorn on the stove in a giant pot. Once it was done, I poured it onto a cookie sheet and began separating the popped corn from the kernels by sifting it through my hands. I put the popcorn in a giant bowl.
I then started the caramel process and I had no issues!
I boiled all the sugars:
Added baking soda…
…yes, baking soda!! It aerates the caramel which gives you a lighter crunch. The more you know! 😉
Once added, it turns the caramel into a foamy, opaque, hot, bubbly mess.
Pour evenly over the tray of popcorn & toss!
I said it was easy, I did not say it wouldn’t be messy. Popcorn got everywhere.
Bake, and nosh for days!
- 1/4 c vegetable oil I used coconut oil which is a good sub too!
- 2/3 c popcorn kernels You can sub in microwave or air popped popcorn. Just make sure it is unflavored and you'll need about 16cups of it.
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 c light brown sugar
- 1/4 c light corn syrup
- 1/4 c pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp salt This salt will not add an upfront saltiness to your caramel corn. If you want that salty/sweet combo, I would recommend sprinkling some salt on after you’ve mixed your caramel and popcorn.
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Preheat your oven to 200°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Make your popcorn and separate from any leftover kernels. Set aside in a very large bowl.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup and salt and stir until everything is dissolved. Let the mixture come to a boil and set a timer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add in the baking soda. Stir well as the mixture turns foamy.
- Immediately pour the syrup over the popped corn in three separate additions, stirring until the popcorn is evenly coated.
- Spread the caramel corn into even layers on prepared pans. Bake at 200°F for one hour.
- Final product can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days.