This homemade caramel corn is crazy simple to make, takes about 15 minutes to whip up and around 45 minutes to an hour in the oven. It’s great for parties. Packaged in a mason jar or a little clear plastic bag, homemade caramel corn makes the perfect food gift too.
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I’m back from what feels like a very long hiatus! My last post was in April (basically a lifetime in the internet world)!
I don’t really have an excuse… Just needed some time to re-group, re-evaluate my goals, and just think about why I started this little project. While I was doing this, I would log in every couple of months or so, just to see if anyone out there was finding me in my little corner of the vaaaaaaaaaaaast web.
Unsurprisingly, not too many people were. But I did notice one thing. Even on days when only one or two people stopped by, my page views were often three or four times that. So what? Well… I figure it means some of those few people who did stop by, whether referred by Google, Pinterest, Foodgawker or whatever, were at least interested enough to click around a few times. It’s not much but I’ll take it!
Follow-through has never really been my strong suit. Sometimes I feel like the wind is in my sails and I have the will to do anything. But after a while the wind dies down or changes direction and I get bored, distracted, or just lazy.
One interesting buzzword I see everywhere these days is “hustle”. I’ve been thinking about that word a lot. I think hustling is about turning on the motor when you don’t feel the wind in your sails. Or switching on the generator when the power goes out.
One way I plan to keep my interest in this blog alive is by posting about more than just food. When I started the blog, I deliberately picked a name that was not food-related to give me greater flexibility in what I could talk about. I think it’s time to put that in action, so while I may not know exactly what those things will be yet, I promise to try and keep it interesting and/or relevant and/or helpful to you in some way.
If you’ve read this far, let me say “thank you”!
But if you just came for the homemade caramel corn (most likely the case), don’t worry we’re getting there!
If you can get your hands on it, the very best popping corn for making homemade caramel corn is the kind sometimes labelled “mushroom” (refers to the shape, not the taste ;)) or “extra large” or “caramel corn popping corn”. But note that this stuff is really only good for caramel corn, not regular popcorn. The husks are tougher than for normal popping corn, and really stick in the teeth, when it’s just popped . I use this:
This makes a large batch (but trust me, you won’t regret it). Because you will need to stir the popcorn several times as it dries in the oven, you need an oven-safe pan that is large enough to comfortably allow for some tossing around. I buy these large disposable aluminum pans at a local wholesale food distributor, and re-use them repeatedly (see below). You could also split the batch into two smaller pans.
I’ve made this easy awesome homemade caramel corn more often than I can count. It has made an appearance at pretty much every party I’ve hosted in the last 5 years (including our wedding) – to give you an idea how much I love it! I think it would be perfect for your Halloween party.
Enjoy, and thanks again for stopping by! xx
Easy Awesome Caramel Corn
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 cups lightly packed light brown sugar *I've this with dark brown sugar, and it did not get as crunchy
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 5 quarts popped popcorn
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (95 degrees C).
Place the popped popcorn in a large oven-safe container or bowl that is large enough to allow for vigorous stirring (you can use two containers if you don't have one that is large enough. I use a large disposable metal pan (see photo above), which I wash and re-use repeatedly.
In a medium saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt over medium heat. Stirring, constantly, bring to a boil. Stop stirring and allow to boil for 4 minutes.
Remove from heat and quickly stir in the baking soda and vanilla. The caramel will immediately start to foam. Working quickly, pour the caramel evenly over the popcorn and stir with a rubber spatula until it is well coated and becomes harder to stir.
Bake the popcorn in the preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. With every stir you will notice that the popcorn is becoming drier. Once it becomes quite dry and no longer sticks together, remove from oven and stir again to break apart remaining clusters.