This is the one recipe I make every single Christmas. Homemade caramel popcorn tastes so much better than what you buy in the store and it makes a great gift.
Toss in some drinks, healthier snacks (or more unhealthy snacks) if you like, and a movie to give the gift of family movie night. One year, I made baskets with homemade movie night goodies for each family for Christmas. The hardest part was trying to figure out what movies they didn’t already have.
- 8 cups popped popcorn
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 6 Tablespoons butter
- 3 Tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup peanuts or pecans (optional)
- Heat oven to 300 degrees.
- Use air popper to make popcorn per the directions on the popper or make on the stove in oil. Do NOT use microwave popcorn or seasoned bagged popcorn.
- Dump popcorn (and nuts) in a 9×13 inch pan. Remove any unpopped kernels.
- Measure brown sugar, butter or margarine (I think butter tastes better), corn syrup, and salt into saucepan.
- Over medium heat, cook brown sugar mixture until butter melts and everything is well mixed. Continue cooking until mixture starts to boil.
- Stop stirring when mixture starts to boil and cook for 5 minutes.
- Remove pan from burner. Stir in baking soda and vanilla. Pour over popcorn and gently stir the popcorn until coated.
- Put pan in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove pan and stir. Put pan back in oven and bake 7 minutes.
- Remove caramel corn to a piece of parchment paper to cool.
- I suggest using butter only. The taste difference is worth it.
- Tip: I usually wait until the caramel popcorn is cool enough to touch, then start gently breaking the kernels apart. If you cool it in a bowl, the kernels stick together in large clumps and you’ll have more to break apart.
Christy is a writer, crafter, amateur photographer and enjoys sharing recipes. She also loves pushing buttons in Photoshop until her pictures magically look better.
Always looking for more work, Christy is currently editing her first book, finishing her second, blogging, guest blogging and making a nuisance of herself.