My kids have been after me to make homemade caramel popcorn for a while. But when my oldest son announced that he made enough popcorn for me to make caramel popcorn and left it on the counter for me, I knew that they had waited for far too long!
Caramel Popcorn is actually quite easy to make. I wasn't putting it off because of any work associated with making it. I just didn't want that much temptation sitting on the kitchen counter while I am trying to cut back on sweets. My kids promised that if I made caramel popcorn, they would not share it with me, because they are loving like that. 🙂
The amount of popcorn I use, depends on how sticky I want the popcorn to be. If we are just enjoying caramel popcorn, then I use 16 cups of popped corn, but if I am making popcorn balls, I cut back to 10 – 12 cups of popcorn.
My recipe doesn't use corn syrup – I use honey instead. I like honey because it doesn't just add sweetness, it adds flavor. We use an air popper to make our popcorn.
The only special equipment you need is a candy thermometer as the caramel is cooked to 250 degrees or the hard-ball stage. If you don't have one, you can do the cold water candy test to determine if it is at the right stage..
- 16 cups popped popcorn
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups brown sugar
- ½ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Pop popcorn. I use an air popper.
- In a large pot, combine butter, sugar, honey, vanilla, and salt. Bring to a boil.
- using a cooking thermometer, cook over medium-high flame until it reaches 250 degrees.
- Remove from flame and stir in baking soda.
- Add popcorn to pot and stir to coat.
- Spread popcorn on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even coating.
- Remove from oven and let the caramel popcorn cool on the pan.
- Enjoy in moderation if your can.