You guys!!!! I made caramel corn!
I love making something for the very, very first time. I’ve never been a big caramel corn person but when we went to a pumpkin patch this fall we bought freshly made caramel corn and it was delicious! As I was planning food for the super bowl, that sweet, salty poppable caramel corn came into my mind.
I saw a recipe on the wonderfully fabulous Annie’s Eats. It was a GIANT recipe but it apparently it keeps forever.
And honestly? Umm… it was so good. I gave a gallon ziploc bag to a friend, we ate most of it at our party and Bryan and I finished the rest in a week.
The idea of it sounds complicated, but you don’t have to make your own caramel with a candy thermometer and such. Just boil some sugar and go! It does take about an hour and a half of hands on time though because you bake the popcorn for an hour or more and have to stir it every 10 minutes or so.
You guys this is just so, so good.
Yield: about 16-20 servings
Prep Time: 30 min/ Cook Time: 60 min
- 1 cup popcorn kernels, unpopped
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- 2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Pop popcorn using any method you like. (Annie likes Whirley Pop so I borrowed my friend’s and it worked great!) Place the popped popcorn in a very, VERY large bowl (or two VERY large bowls – you will need to be able to stir and toss the caramel on top). MAKE SURE TO REMOVE ALL UNPOPPED KERNELS!
- Preheat the oven to 250° F. Prepare at least two very large baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, make the caramel. In a 2 quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, mix in corn syrup, brown sugar and salt.
- Increase heat to medium high. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Once it reaches a boil, stop stirring and let boil for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add in baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will froth and bubble up. Stir.
- Pour the caramel sauce over the popcorn in the bowls and toss to coat. Gently using salad spoons can be a very helpful tool. I started with a little at a time, tossed, then added more.
- Work slightly quickly so it doesn’t cool and spread the popcorn evenly onto the baking sheets (there may be some caramel clumps.)
- Bake for 40-60 minutes, removing from the oven to gently stir every 10 minutes. After 35-40 minutes, taste a piece (or two or three) of popcorn. When it’s done it should be crispy but still slightly mushy when you bite it – bake for another 10 minutes if not. (Taste then if not done, bake for 10 minutes more.)
- Remove the baking sheets to a wire rack and allow popcorn to cool completely before breaking apart for serving or packaging.
- Store in an airtight container or ziploc bag and this should keep for a long time. Enjoy!