Lindsay Ann Bakes: Homemade Caramel Popcorn

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Homemade Caramel Popcorn

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Who knew making gourmet caramel corn at home was this easy?! The crunchy popcorn smothered in the sweet homemade caramel layer is one of my favorite {non-chocolate} snacks ever. 



Serve it at a party or package it up in little baggies for a great party favor or special homemade gift.



 I like adding in some cinnamon to give it a kind of Snickerdoodle flavor, but you can add M&M's, peanuts, sprinkles, really anything to make it a little more festive and fun for special occasions!


To make your gourmet-style caramel corn at home, first you need to make the caramel syrup to coat your popcorn. In a medium size saucepan combine the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt.


 Over medium heat, bring to a boil, about 4-6 minutes. 


Once your caramel mixture has reached a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for about 4 minutes. 


In the mean time pop your popcorn. I use my my stove top popping method in this tutorial, but you can click here to view my microwave popping method if you prefer. All you need is a little oil, a pot and some kernels. Heat the oil and a 3 kernels in your covered pot on medium heat.


 Once they pop, your oil is hot enough and you can add the rest of the kernels. 



Cover and heat until all of the kernels begin popping, gently shaking the pot side to side, over the burner. Once the popping slows to 2-5 seconds between pops, remove from heat but keep covered to keep it warm for the caramel syrup.


Remove caramel mixture from heat and stir in the vanilla followed by the baking soda, creating a light and foamy consistency.


 Immediately pour over popcorn, stirring quickly until the popcorn is well coated.



Spread onto your prepared baking sheet. 


Bake for about 45-60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes until popcorn is crisp. 


Let cool just slightly.

 

Serve immediately and enjoy!




Homemade Caramel Popcorn

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup popcorn kernels, popped (or click here to view my microwave popping method)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, depending on your preference
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Line a large baking dish, baking sheet or large roasting pan with foil or parchment paper.

In a medium size saucepan combine the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt. Over medium heat, bring to a boil, about 4-6 minutes. Once your caramel mixture has reached a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for about 4 minutes (or until it reaches 230°F).

In the mean time pop your popcorn. Heat the oil and 3 kernels in a covered 3-quart pot on medium heat. Once the 3 test kernels pop, your oil is hot enough and you can add the rest of the kernels. Cover and heat until all of the kernels begin popping, gently shaking the pot side to side, over the burner. Once the popping slows to 2-5 seconds between pops, turn off the heat.

Remove caramel mixture from heat and stir in the vanilla followed by the baking soda, creating a light and foamy consistency. Immediately pour over popcorn, stirring quickly until the popcorn is well coated. Spread onto your prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 45-60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes until popcorn is crisp. Serve immediately and enjoy! Store leftovers in an airtight container or package in bags or tins for gift giving.


*Tips: Try to keep the lid slightly ajar when cooking, to let the steam escape keeping the popcorn  crisper instead of chewy from the moisture. Remove seeds by placing a cooling rack over the top of the bowl of popcorn and flipping everything upside down, so the seeds fall out, into a bowl or onto a towel, and the popcorn stays in the bowl. 

  
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