Crispy, crackly, buttery and surprisingly easy! You don’t need a candy thermometer for this recipe. This delicious caramel makes great homemade gifts to hand out during the holidays.
In under one hour you can have a big bunch of caramel corn to share as gifts or for delicious snacking. This recipe is perfect for cold fall days.
Some things to remember:
- Please be careful. Hot caramel is dangerous and must be handled with care. This is not a recipe to make with young children.
- Butter your baking sheet before you add the popcorn.
- To keep your popcorn warm while you are making the caramel sauce, keep it in the oven at 200°F.
- I think that air popped popcorn is best for this recipe.
- This recipe makes about 20 cups of caramel corn.
Old Fashioned Caramel Corn
- 1 batch popcorn made from 1/2 cup kernels, preferably air-popped
- scant butter for greasing baking pan
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups dark brown sugar
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 Tbs vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 200°F. Pop the popcorn. I think that using an air popper is best for making caramel corn. Be sure to put only the popped kernels on the baking sheet, picking through the popped corn and making certain to leave the un-popped kernels behind.
- Butter a 1/2 sheet pan (cookie sheet). Keep the popcorn in the oven to keep it warm while you make the caramel sauce.
- In a saucepan, over medium high heat, melt the brown sugar with the butter and corn syrup. Stir constantly until all the ingredients have melted together.
- When the mixture starts to bubble, turn the down to medium and maintain a steady low-boil for five minutes.
- After the mixture has boiled for 5 minutes, take the pan off the burner. Add the salt, baking soda and vanilla. Stir well.
- Take the popcorn out of the oven and pour the caramel over the popcorn. Butter a spoon or spatula and stir the popcorn and caramel around so the popcorn is almost all the way coated with the caramel. If you cannot coat all popcorn with the caramel at this point, don't worry. It will melt a little as you bake it.
- Put the tray of caramel corn into the 200°F oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Stir every fifteen minutes or so and the warmed caramel will spread over more popcorn.
- After the caramel corn has baked, pour it out onto wax paper or parchment paper to cool. Break into small chunks if you need to. Cool and serve and/or pack away to save or give as gifts.