Homemade Caramel Corn Recipe

Posted on December 14th, 2008 in Recipes by EngineerBoy
Look Out, Teeth!

Look Out, Teeth!

So for that last few weeks I’ve been having a craving for some nice, tasty caramel corn.  Now, when it comes to this confection I’m a purist – I don’t like anything in it but the popcorn and the coating, no nuts, no nothing else.  And that’s really hard to find at a store.  So I finally broke down tonight and made some at home, for the very first time, too.

The recipe is a mash-up of several recipes I found on the tubernets, and it goes like this:

6-7 quarts of air-popped popcorn
1 1/2 sticks of butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.  Make the popcorn in an air popper, then put it into a large roasting pan and put it in the oven while making the coating.

To make the coating, combine the butter, sugar, honey, and corn syrup in a tall pot and heat over medium-high heat until it boils, stirring constantly.  Reduce the heat a little but keep it boiling, and let it boil without stirring it for five more minutes – it’ll get kind of bubbly and frothy.

Remove the syrup from the heat and stir in the vanilla and baking soda.  The baking soda will make it foam up even more, so keep stirring until it settles back down a little bit.  Take the popcorn out of the oven and turn the heat in the oven up to 250 degrees.

Using a ladle or large spoon, drizzle about 1/3 of the syrup over the popcorn, then use a couple of big spoons to stir it up.  Repeat this process 2 more times, adding 1/3 more of the syrup each time, until all the syrup is on the popcorn.  Sprinkle some salt over the popcorn for the final stir, then place in the oven for 75 minutes, taking it out to stir it up every 15 minutes.  When you stir it, make sure to bring up the popcorn/syrup from the bottom and also to break up any large chunks of popcorn.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 15-20 minutes before eating.  You can eat it right out of the oven if you like, but it’ll be kind of sticky and gooey (not to mention hot).  After 20-30 minutes it will be more like what you expect from caramel corn, with individual pieces that mostly don’t stick together.

I will state, unequivocally, that this recipe resulted in the tastiest, most savory caramel corn that I have ever eaten.  Enjoy.

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