Sinfully Delicious Caramel Corn

By • August 16, 2010 9 Comments

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Author Notes: We have this amazing caramel corn shop here in Chicago called Garrett's Popcorn. Oh my goodness! The smell floats out of the shop, down the street around the buildings and through all of the people. It puts a spell on you and literally pulls you into the store with a force that is beyond your control.
You can't fight it, so don't even try. Well, I was in the city on Saturday with my daughter and as we were criss-crossing the busy streets filled with shoppers and street musicians, we were instantly overcome with an uncontrollable desire for caramel corn. I had this week's contest rolling around in my brain, and when that magic smell hit me, I thought about corn. Corn! Caramel corn is corn, right? I happen to have a fabulous caramel corn recipe that I originally came across on one of my favorite food blogs. I tried it, loved it, altered it a bit and have made it dozens of times. I can't stop making it because it's so simple and really delicious. So, being the right-brained creative thinker that I am, I figured this would make a great corn entry! If you can't get over to Garrett's, you really have to try making this one.

Makes 10 cups of caramel corn

  • 1 package of plain microwave popcorn (unbuttered, natural flavor)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup salted peanuts, chopped (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 250°F, and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Pop the popcorn according to the package instructions. (2 1/2 mins works good for me, 3 mins tends to burn it a bit) *Pick out each and every kernel that does not pop.* (This step is very important because you don't want anyone to break a tooth on caramel coated kernels!) Coat a large mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray, and dump the popcorn into the bowl.
  3. In a saucepan, whisk together the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt, and 2 tablespoons of water. Bring to a low boil over medium heat. Whisk often, until the mixture reads 250°F on a candy thermometer, about 3 to 4 minutes. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, and whisk in the baking soda and vanilla. Quickly pour the hot caramel over the popcorn, using a rubber spatula to gently fold the caramel into the popcorn. Take care to distribute it as evenly as you can. Stir in the peanuts, if using, and transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, stirring and turning the popcorn with a spatula every 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and cool for 10 minutes. Gently break up the popcorn, and serve.

More Great Recipes: Desserts|Snacks|Corn

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Comments (9) Questions (0)


over 4 years ago jackiecasey

OMG!! this is the best Caramel Corn Recipe i have come across so far!!!! It's in the oven right now!! Smells soooooo good! I am making this for a Hockey Tournament bake sale for tomorrow, think I'm gonna have to make LOTS! Its gonna go fast! lol

Thanks so much for the recipe! Well Done!


about 5 years ago cheese1227

Oh, thank you! I have an aversion to corn -- q


about 5 years ago cheese1227

Sorry I misfired that comment!

As I was saying, I simply don't like corn in general, unless it's popped. This recipe is right up my alley. Thanks!


about 5 years ago dymnyno

sinful...yes indeed!


about 5 years ago lapadia

I like making caramel corn for an edible gift at delicious!


about 5 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

NOOOOO do NOT tell me how to make caramel corn. I have zero self control around this stuff. Dang now it is in my head and will rattle around in there until I make it. Yum.


about 5 years ago littleclove

You're right. I'm beyond terrible for throwing this out there. It's too hard to resist! We have no power over it! :-)


about 5 years ago Sagegreen

Please keep me away from these! I better resist.


about 5 years ago littleclove

Come know you want some!