Crispy, chewy, buttery, salty and sweet! What more could you ask for in a recipe? This Caramel Popcorn hits all the notes! With just a few ingredients you’ll have the best, freshest, caramel corn you’ve ever tasted and you’ll never go back to the bagged or microwaved variety again!
After Monday’s 5 Minute Microwave Cheddar Popcorn it was only appropriate that we follow it up with it’s delicious better half, Caramel Popcorn! Why you ask? Because…well… the most delicious popcorn creation ever is made from the amazing mix of the two! Chicago Popcorn! And so off we go to make some delicious caramel popcorn! I’d like it if there were a great easy microwave caramel popcorn recipe that tasted amazing. But really, to make a proper tasting crispy (not chewy caramel) popcorn you need to get your stovetop burner working!
Look, I know I waxed poetic about my love for the Christmas popcorn tin I used to get every year as a kid and I basically made the butter popcorn the black sheep. But that is only because it wasn’t fresh homemade butter popcorn. If you made some fresh at home with a great quality butter and kosher salt, it could very easily give these recipes a run for their money! But the sort of “butter flavor” on popcorns out there make it the black sheep of the tin and don’t get me started on all the chemicals in the microwave popcorn bags!
Want to make some delicious buttered popcorn? Here is a great recipe (well not really a recipe, just a method) for you. Take some popcorn kernels and put them in a small brown lunchbag. Turn on the microwave and let it go until the popping slows down (just like in the prepackaged stuff). Leave the bag closed and melt some butter quickly in a microwave safe bowl. Pour the butter into the bag of popcorn you just made. Close it back up and shake it! Shake, shake, shake, shake until your arms feel like they’ve worked off some of that butter we are about to eat. 😉 Now pour it into your bowl and sprinkle on a bit of kosher salt, to taste. Done! WAYYYY less expensive than the bagged stuff and infinitely more delicious! Then the most important part of the recipe…. bring some to me! 🙂
Okay back to regularly scheduled programming. We have some delicious caramel corn to make!
Place the popped popcorn into two large baking pans. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring enough to blend. Once the mixture begins to boil, boil for 3-4 minutes while stirring constantly.
Remove from the heat, and stir in the baking soda and vanilla.
The mixture bubble rapidly.
Immediately pour over the popcorn in the pans, and stir to coat. It is okay if the popcorn isn’t completely coated yet the oven will help us out. Bake for 45 minutes but stir the popcorn every fifteen minutes.
When it comes out of the oven, try to separate the pieces as much as you can before it cools completely. Enjoy!
- Yield: 20 servings
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Course: Dessert
- Cuisine: American
- Author: Dinner, then Dessert
- 7 quarts plain popped popcorn (about 30 cups of popped popcorn or 2 1/2 bags of microwave popcorn)
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup (I use homemade)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.
- Place the popped popcorn into two large baking pans.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
- Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a saucepan.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring enough to blend.
Once the mixture begins to boil, boil for 3-4 minutes while stirring constantly.
- Remove from the heat, and stir in the baking soda and vanilla.
- The mixture bubble rapidly.
- Immediately pour over the popcorn in the pans, and stir to coat.
- It is okay if the popcorn isn't completely coated yet the oven will help us out.
Bake for 45 minutes but stir the popcorn every fifteen minutes.
- When it comes out of the oven, try to separate the pieces as much as you can before it cools completely. Enjoy!
Adapted both in ingredients and directions from Allrecipes. The original works well too, but this version is more natural and crispier.
Yield: 20 servings, Amount per serving: 693 calories, Calories: 693g, Carbohydrates: 79g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 38g, Saturated Fat: 20g, Cholesterol: 24mg, Sodium: 891mg, Potassium: 439mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 28g, Vitamin A: 450g, Calcium: 44g, Iron: 2.1g
All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.
Want to make your own corn syrup at home? I use a homemade thick simple syrup for this instead by mixing 8 tablespoons of sugar with 2 tablespoons of hot water. This makes a half a cup of homemade corn syrup.