Salty delicious treats such as caramel popcorn tend to not be made in a peanut free facility or come from a source that can be trusted. Popular major brands of caramel corn also love to add peanuts in the mix.
Why be deprived when you can make it at home yourself in a safe environment?
This salty sweet treat is easy, quick and inexpensive to make. So many people on the internet have given me not only the inspiration to make caramel popcorn but the tools to make it awesome!
Because of this blog I came across someone who had a success story due to Aimee’s recipe for Caramel Popcorn and a “Perfect Popcorn” recipe post from Elise. Now I had all the tools to be a success story too! Thank you!
I also tried out this recipe from Anna Olson from the Food Network site which inspired me to add more salt. (Huge fan of salted caramels…)
I had no idea how easy it was to make this snack at home. I now have tried multiple recipes (now that I am addicted) including ones from Anna Olson (omitting the peanuts of course!!!!!) and Aimee’s blog (omitting the pecans of course!!!!)
Salted Caramel Popcorn with Vanilla
This makes a lot of popcorn! When making it for the first time or if you are not sharing, I suggest making half the amount. It can also makes half the mess if you bake like me and love to spill! I enjoy to make it in a roasting pan because the high lip on the pan helps to contain popcorn when I toss it at any point.
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup popcorn kernels
2 cups brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp Maldon sea salt
Preheat oven to 250F. Line a large roasting pan with parchment paper or a silicon mat; set aside. Pop popcorn kernals in any way you desire (air popper, microwave, stovetop). Transfer to a large stainless steel or ceramic bowl. Place in preheated oven to stay warm while you make the caramel.
Cook sugar, butter, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until it comes to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until it reaches 255 degrees or five minutes exactly from the boiling point if you do not have a thermometer. (It is a risk but I have tried this method with success.)
Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract, salt, and baking soda. Pour over popcorn mixture; toss to coat. Pour into roasting pan. Sprinkle with sea salt and toss lightly. Bake, stirring every 20 minutes for 1 hour 20 minutes. Let cool on wire racks. Popcorn can be stored in airtight containers up to 1 week.
It is important to use a good quality salt when sprinkling overtop the popcorn. It will give the finished popcorn a savoury mild flavour which will accent the caramel and popcorn instead of giving it a “salty “flavour. At this moment in my kitchen my finishing salt happens to be “Maldon Sea Salt” which I sprinkle over top once I have stirred in the caramel through the popcorn. The result is sparatic hits of deliciousness.
I LOVE caramel popcorn! A treat for all ages! If stored in an airtight container it will stay fresh for one week. This indulgent recipe is great for a trip, in a paper bag for goodie take home treats or in a glass jar with a scoop for a party. (Or DON’T make it and let me continue to make it for you for your birthday or Christmas!)