Homemade Caramel Corn: A Holiday Tradition

Popcorn, popcorn, who’s got the popcorn? We do! The perfect shareable snack is about to get a little sweeter. This decadent caramel corn is perfect for the holidays - give it as a gift, bring it to your work potluck, or keep it all for yourself (we won’t tell anyone).

For as long as I can remember, it has been a Christmas tradition in my house to make caramel corn as a gift for teachers and coworkers. The smell alone brings back memories of popcorn flying across the kitchen after I forgot to put the lid back on the air popper, laughing uncontrollably at Clark Griswold’s shenanigans and commiserating with Ralphie as he hopes and prays for an “official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle.”

Now I am hoping to help make this a tradition for another family in Washington – maybe yours! While it does take some time, I promise you won’t be disappointed with the end product.

So without further ado, let’s make some popcorn!

First things first, we need some popcorn. 8 cups of popped corn to be exact (that is about 1 cup of kernels). I use an air popper. While the corn is a poppin’ – make sure to sift out any kernels that don’t get popped. Next up, add dry popcorn, nuts, and coconut to a large bowl (adding your choice of nuts and coconut is optional).

After the corn is popped, start on the caramel sauce. In a sauce pan, melt butter and add Karo Syrup and sugar – bring to a rolling boil.

As soon as it has reached a rolling boil, reduce temperature to medium and SLOWLY add the vanilla. The vanilla will cause the mixture to bubble and expand. Continue to stir on medium heat until the mixture has thickened, about 3 minutes.

Pour caramel sauce over popcorn mixture. Mix caramel sauce and popcorn. Make sure the mixture is coated evenly.

Place about 2-3 cups of caramel corn mixture on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Stir and return to the oven for another 10 min. Repeat one more time for a total of 30 minutes in the oven.

Repeat with the rest of the caramel corn mix until it is all cooked.

I hope you enjoy this delicious treat and perhaps make a tradition in your home during the holidays.

Happy Holidays!

Lindsie

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup real butter
  • 8 cups of popped popcorn
  • ½ cup light Karo
  • 1 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup nuts of your choice (optional, I prefer slivered almonds)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (optional)

Directions

  1. Air pop 1 cup of corn kernels to yield 8 cups of popcorn. While corn is popping, sift through popcorn for any kernels and discard.
  2. After corn is popped, add nuts and shredded coconut (if you are using).
  3. In a sauce pan, melt butter and add Karo Syrup and sugar – bring to a rolling boil. As soon as it has reached boil, SLOWLY add the vanilla. The vanilla will cause the mixture to bubble and expand. Continue to stir on medium heat until the mixture has thickened – about 3 minutes.
  4. Pour caramel sauce over popcorn mixture. Mix until the mixture is coated evenly.
  5. Place about 2-3 cups of caramel corn mixture on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 min. Stir the caramel corn and return to the oven for another 10 min. Repeat one more time for a total of 30 min in the oven.
  6. Repeat with the rest of the caramel corn mix until it is all cooked.