Family Friendly Fridays: Homemade Caramel Corn

Have I ever mentioned that caramel is one of my favorite flavors?  Ever?  I absolutely love how it’s creamy, rich, sugary, and buttery all at the same time.  If there’s a dessert on the menu with caramel, it’s mine.

Got a candy bar with caramel in your Halloween candy stash?  Better not turn your head to look at that grizzly bear running across the street because I’ll swipe it just like that.

And oh my heavens, do you remember those over sized chocolate caramel apples with all the nuts and candies that they sell at the local chocolate shop?  You know the ones I’m referring to.  They’re incredibly overpriced, beautiful to look at, even more beautiful to eat, and worth every dollar you spend on them.  Well, when I get my hands on one, let’s just say it’s not a pretty thing.  You’ll be lucky if there’s anything left for you besides a gnawed on stick that used to house the carcass of an apple.

So you can only imagine that this recipe gets made and eaten fairly often at my house.  My kids complain that I don’t share it very well.  Sorry kids, some things just aren’t meant for sharing.

Ingredients Needed:

1/2 to 1/3 Cup of Oil
(enough to coat the bottom of your pan)
3/4 Cup of Popcorn Seeds
Salt to Taste
1/2 Stick of Butter (4 Tbsp)
1 tsp of Vanilla
1/4 Cup of Maple Syrup
3/4 Cup of Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp of Baking Soda
1 Paper Grocery Bag

Are we ready to do this?  Ok, here we go.  Grab a large saute pan and cover the bottom of it with oil.  Peanut, canola or vegetable work best; I used canola.  Turn your heat all the way to high and give it a good 5 minutes to get the oil nice and hot.

Once you’ve given your oil a chance to heat up, throw about 4 or 5 kernels into the oil and wait for them to pop.  When they’ve all popped you know your oil is hot enough to cook up your corn.

Go ahead and drop you corn into the pan.  See my little pre-popped kernels in there?

Grab a top and put it on the pan.  You’re definitely going to need it.  Start pushing and pulling the pan back and forth on the burner to keep the kernels from burning.   It will take a minute or two for it to heat up and then watch in amazement as your corn pops up.  Keep pushing and pulling, occasionally shaking it above the burner to take some of the heat away and keep the popcorn from burning.  Just like a microwaved bag, when the pops slow down to just a one every second or so, remove the pan from the heat.  Let it sit for a few more seconds to finish up popping. Here’s where you should be at at this point:

Oh yea baby, sharing is starting to look a bit overrated already, wouldn’t you agree?  Sprinkle a generous helping of salt on your popcorn.  Grab a paper bag and dump your popped corn in.  Set it aside and let’s get to work on the liquid gold.

To your small pot add in the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla.

Heat it up to boiling and then remove from heat.  Add in your baking soda….

and watch what happens next.  Pretty cool, huh?

Now grab your popcorn bag and dump one quarter of the caramel over the top.  Close up the bag and shake it good.

Do this three more times until all the caramel is poured in and the popcorn is thoroughly covered.  Oh baby.

I know you’re ready to dive in right this minute but we have one more step to get through.  Throw the entire bag into the microwave and zap it for one minute.  Pull the bag out and shake it up again.  Throw it into the microwave for one additional minute, shake it up and you’re there.  Time for some popcorn.  No sharing necessary.

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Ingredients:

1/2 to 1/3 Cup of Oil
(enough to coat the bottom of your pan)
3/4 Cup of Popcorn Seeds
Salt to Taste
1/2 Stick of Butter (4 Tbsp)
1 tsp of Vanilla
1/4 Cup of Maple Syrup
3/4 Cup of Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp of Baking Soda
1 Paper Grocery Bag

Directions:

Grab a large saute pan and cover the bottom of it with oil. Peanut, canola or vegetable work best; I used canola. Turn your heat all the way to high and give it a good 5 minutes to get the oil nice and hot.

Once you've given your oil a chance to heat up, throw about 4 or 5 kernels into the oil and wait for them to pop. When they've all popped you know your oil is hot enough to cook up your corn.

Go ahead and drop you corn into the pan.

Grab a top and put it on the pan. You're definitely going to need it. Start pushing and pulling the pan back and forth on the burner to keep the kernels from burning. It will take a minute or two for it to heat up and then watch in amazement as your corn pops up. Keep pushing and pulling, occasionally shaking it above the burner to take some of the heat away and keep the popcorn from burning. Just like a microwaved bag, when the pops slow down to just a one every second or so, remove the pan from the heat. Let it sit for a few more seconds to finish up popping.

Sprinkle a generous helping of salt on your popcorn. Grab a paper bag and dump your popped corn in. Set it aside.

For the caramel, Add to a small pot the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla.

Heat it up to boiling and then remove from heat. Add in your baking soda.

Now grab your popcorn bag and dump one quarter of the caramel over the top. Close up the bag and shake it good.

Do this three more times until all the caramel is poured in and the popcorn is thoroughly covered.

Throw the entire bag into the microwave and zap it for one minute. Pull the bag out and shake it up again. Throw it into the microwave for one additional minute, shake it up and you're there.


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35 Responses to “Family Friendly Fridays: Homemade Caramel Corn”

  1. 1

    Roti n Rice — August 20, 2010 @ 9:03 am

    Wow…homemade caramel corn! Can’t beat that! I can imagine the wonderful aroma coming from your kitchen.

  2. 2

    Sandi — August 20, 2010 @ 9:54 am

    Love your blog. Just found it and am loving it.

  3. 3

    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum — August 20, 2010 @ 11:45 am

    Wow! You make it look easy! I have never tried to make caramel corn, but I have made kettle corn and it didn’t go well. Maybe it’s time to give it another try. I have an old fashioned whirly pop, too, so no excuses!

  4. 4

    Alison@StretchMyCheck — August 20, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

    Oh Yummmmmmmmmmm! I think this may be a recipe for tomorrow night on the couch with my hubby :-) Thanks for sharing your recipe and your obsession!

  5. 5

    Alex Fitzpatrick — August 20, 2010 @ 1:40 pm

    Oh we love the caramel corn. YUMMMY!!!!!

    Happy Friday!

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma What’s For Dinner
    http://www.mawhats4dinner.com

  6. 6

    Tweets that mention Family Friendly Fridays: Homemade Caramel Corn | Mommie Cooks! -- Topsy.com — August 20, 2010 @ 3:58 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Baking Barrister, Julie Mastbrook. Julie Mastbrook said: I'm making homemade caramel corn! Who's with me? http://bit.ly/cND2oC […]

  7. 7

    rebecca — August 20, 2010 @ 5:49 pm

    wow this must have tasted amazing oh and please send me a link to the cookbook you were talking about
    have a great weekend and all the best for the new site Rebecca

  8. 8

    Melissa @My McDonald Meal — August 20, 2010 @ 5:52 pm

    Okay- so I just finished making this and darn it’s good!! I did coconut oil instead of butter for the sauce! Perfect flavor. Not sure if I should thank you or curse you for giving me this idea tonight. :) See you in Atlanta and Asheville.

    • Julie replied: — August 20th, 2010 @ 10:18 pm

      Looking forward to meeting you too Melissa! Glad you enjoyed it!

  9. 9

    Anna Johnston — August 20, 2010 @ 7:16 pm

    Oh Boy! What have you done!! I’m reading through this post nodding furiously…., my sympathies & sentiments for a very much shared caramel addiction (yes, its official…, I can’t walk past anything caramel); so…, there I am reading along nodding…. Mmmm, and then you went and clinched the deal with the caramel & its ‘game on’ :)

  10. 10

    The Bitch Stopped Cooking — August 20, 2010 @ 9:11 pm

    I CANNOT wait to try this. It looks awesome. Thank you so much for sharing!

  11. 11

    Miel Abeille — August 20, 2010 @ 10:33 pm

    YUM! It’s 10:30pm and I am craving something sweet & salty!

    I see you got the font size fixed! Congrats!

    • Julie replied: — August 20th, 2010 @ 10:53 pm

      Yes!! I started to randomly up the font sizes until I found one that did it. Then I went on to figure out how to add a button (yes, it’s the little things for me), add a tweet and like button AND (hopefully) add Google Analytics.

      I’m now the WordPress queen (ok I think I just got lucky with most of it, but I’ll chalk it up as a beginner’s success). Thank you SO much for your help Melissa!

      Now go make yourself a bowl of this popcorn. ;)

  12. 12

    Sarah — August 21, 2010 @ 9:51 am

    Popping over from SITS and I’m glad I did — I’ve got to try this! Caramel is one of my favorites too :)

  13. 13

    Ameena — August 21, 2010 @ 10:05 am

    This is one of the best instructional posts I have ever seen…your pics are fantastic. I love that sharing is optional because I am no good at that.

  14. 14

    Kristen — August 21, 2010 @ 10:55 am

    That looks wonderful!! Popcorn is probably my family’s favorite snack….in any form.

  15. 15

    Kristina Churchill — August 21, 2010 @ 5:29 pm

    Those smells must be heavenly! I will try this for sure!
    My kids owe you bigtime!

    -kristina-

  16. 16

    Nirmala — August 22, 2010 @ 3:14 am

    Reminds me of when my mom made it growing up. It would go FAST!

    With regards to instant yeast, I got it at a local grocery store but I think you can get it at Safeway or stores like that. Hope that helps.

  17. 17

    FOODESSA — August 22, 2010 @ 6:12 am

    It seems since I’ve hit my young mid-life years..every calorie I consume seems to double up faster on my hips etc… I’m not terribly happy with this turn of events. Will that deter me from trying this incredibly favourite treat of mine?…Oh nooo….this homemade delight has to get made in my kitchen ;o) Caramel popcorn has to be one of my most cherished childhood treats. I’ve been avoiding to buy it at the store…however, I’ve got to make this at least once. You make it look very easy and absolutely tempting.

    Julie…very nice to make your acquaintance. I may only ask that next time you tempt me a little less ;) LOL

    Ciao for now and flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

  18. 18

    Chris — August 22, 2010 @ 10:28 am

    Excellent job, it looks perfect. It has been probably 20 years since I cooked pop corn stove top like that.

  19. 19

    Crystal — August 22, 2010 @ 6:47 pm

    Oh yum! That looks so good! I too am a major caramel lover! I’ve never attempted to make carmel corn before, doesn’t look too difficult! I may have to try this.

  20. 20

    Eileen — August 22, 2010 @ 9:12 pm

    I love carmel corn. Yours looks delicious. Love the photo of the little hand reaching in for a handfull!

  21. 21

    Julie — August 23, 2010 @ 12:12 am

    Hmm, wonder if anyone would notice if I tried to sneak a giant bag of that into the movie theater.

  22. 22

    5 Star Foodie — August 23, 2010 @ 12:12 am

    Wow, this homemade caramel corn sounds absolutely fantastic! Yum!

  23. 23

    Joshua Burgin - New Day, New Way — August 23, 2010 @ 12:27 am

    Oh, how I love caramel corn! I have never made it with stovetop popcorn, though! I so need to try it out! Merci beaucoup!

  24. 24

    sanjeeta kk — August 23, 2010 @ 10:37 am

    Unavoidable indulgence. When my fav food (corn) is there, all rules are broken.

  25. 25

    Rick — August 23, 2010 @ 4:51 pm

    Now I have to try this out!

  26. 26

    Christie @ Fresh Local and Best — August 23, 2010 @ 11:38 pm

    I tell ya each picture just got more and more exciting! I would be in a whole heap of trouble in your house, I’d probably get kicked out for hoarding the popcorn to myself. This looks absolutely carmelsational!

  27. 27

    Maranda — August 24, 2010 @ 10:45 pm

    Oh wow!!!!! Yeah…I wouldn’t share that either! I am definitely going to be making this soon! I already have all the ingredients!

  28. 28

    Holly L — August 25, 2010 @ 12:10 am

    I love caramel. I could lock myself in a closet and eat it all day! I adore caramel corn especially when we get it from one of the little shops at the wharf and walk around by the ocean with our hot caramel corn.

    I have only tried to make it once – and for some reason thought after I poured the caramel onto the popcorn that the caramel would not be hot anymore – and dug right in with bare hands to mix it – ouch!

    Yummy recipe!

  29. 29

    Nancy — August 27, 2010 @ 11:04 am

    Love carmel corn! I have a similar recipe but it calls for baking it for 1hour at low temp, stirring every 15 minutes. This really mixes it up and spreads the carmel around as well as making it really crunchy YUM!
    xoxo
    Nancy

  30. 30

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