I love popcorn pretty much any way I can get it. That said, caramel corn’s never topped the list. I usually enjoy my movies with a nice side of salty, oh-so-bad-for-me popcorn. Kettlecorn’s a close second. Cheddar popcorn would be third, but I have to really pick my dairy battles carefully. With so many things, I find that once I make them myself, something I didn’t really like that much becomes something I absolutely love. Well, caramel corn, welcome to the list of my new favorite things.
When I first read through the recipe, it seemed a little too easy. I assembled the ingredients and found it really was as easy as it looked. I love that with some air-popped popcorn and a few other ingredients, I had a sweet snack to enjoy. As a bonus, these are all ingredients I always have on hand, so I’m sure I’ll be making this again soon.
- 1 cup popcorn kernels, unpopped
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pop popcorn kernels using your preferred method (I use an air-popper). Remove uncooked kernels if needed.
Put the popcorn in a large mixing bowl (or more than one bowl, you’ll need room to toss it).
Melt the butter in a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat.
Stir in the corn syrup, salt, and brown sugar and turn the heat up to medium-high.
Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring.
Once it has reached a boil, allow to boil for 5 more minutes without stirring.
Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla.
Pour the mixture over the popcorn and toss so it’s coated thoroughly. Don’t worry about clumping, the clumps will separate during baking.
Spread the popcorn over parchment lined baking sheets and place in the oven.
Bake for 40 minutes, tossing the popcorn every 10 minutes.
Try a cooled piece of popcorn, if it’s not crunchy, return to the oven and bake for 10 more minutes.
Put the baking sheets on wire racks to cool completely before breaking apart to serve or package.