Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Caramel Corn

It's December so I have to repost my favorite Christmas treat, caramel corn.  I found this perfect caramel corn recipe here - Amateur Gourmet.  It's crispy and once you start eating it, it's hard to stop.   I did make one change that puts this caramel corn over the top,  I use vanilla and maple extract.   Makes a big batch so I have plenty to share.   I love the holidays!
*I now use mushroom popcorn.  Its round shape makes it the perfect popcorn for making caramel corn.  I use this brand, Tietz Family farm. I found it at the farmers market in Madison, Wisconsin and now order it online.  You can also order other brands on Amazon.

6 quarts of Popped corn (24 cups) (place popped corn in a large roasting pan making sure to remove ALL old maids)

1 cup butter
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 cups brown sugar (use only C & H brand *see important note)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla (I used 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp maple extract)
1/2 tsp baking soda

Heat your oven to 250F.  Melt the butter, stir in the corn syrup,  brown sugar and salt.  Bring the mixture to a boil (medium high heat) stirring constantly. Boil (medium high heat) without stirring for 5 minutes (making sure to use a timer because you don't want to go longer as it will burn).  Remove from the heat, stir in the soda maple and vanilla (Careful! it foams!). Pour over the popped corn and mix well in roasting pan.  (Don't be too concerned about coating all the popcorn as it will coat evenly when you are stirring every ten minutes that it's in the oven.)   Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to evenly coat (making sure to mix all the caramel that forms on the bottom of the pan.  When done spread out onto parchment or foil on counter.   Let it cool and eat! 

*Important note:  Use only C & H Pure Cane Sugar.  Cheap grocery store brand brown sugar just doesn't have the same flavor and quality.  The caramel comes out velvety smooth, whereas the other types of brown sugar produces a grainy texture. 

It's also interesting to note that when you add the baking soda and vanilla the consistency becomes very strange--it almost looks like caramel shaving cream.  I have to admit the first time I made this never fail caramel corn I failed!   The problem I had is that I boiled the caramel on high heat and it burned.  I corrected that to medium high heat and it turns out amazing every time. 

I use this 2 qt. bowl to measure out popped corn.
Use a large roasting pan to mix and bake caramel corn.  As it bakes you will stir every 10 minutes, this helps to coat all the popped corn into caramel goodness!


  1. I love caramel corn! This recipe reminds me of one that I used to make when I was little, from my Kid's BH&G cookbook. I remember it foaming up when you added the baking soda! I agree with you on the brown sugar. I only use C&H brown sugar too.

  2. I make this during the holidays and everyone just loves it. I lost my recipe so thanks for the post. From one Dawn to another... Happy Holidays.