Author Notes: I was inspired by Sarah Jampel's Food52 post about how to make caramel corn, and on my first try, I came up with this! This caramel corn melts in your mouth, then slowly brings in a pleasant slow burn, causing you to reach into the bowl for more. If you don't want to use habanero jelly, try any other hot pepper jelly to customize the level of heat. —melomel
Makes: 20 oz
cup olive oil
cup popcorn kernels
cup unsalted butter
cup light brown sugar
teaspoon baking soda
tablespoons habanero jelly
- Heat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large dutch oven, combine the olive oil and popcorn kernels over medium high heat. Put the lid on, and pop, shaking the pot from time to time. When the popping stops, remove the popcorn from the heat.
- Sort through the popcorn, removing the unpopped kernels. Return the popcorn to the dutch oven, and set aside.
- To make the caramel, melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Once melted, add the brown sugar and continue stirring until the sugar dissolves.
- Add the molasses, then turn the heat up and boil the caramel for 2-3 minutes until a deep amber.
- Stir in the salt, then add the baking soda, stirring until dissolved (the mixture will bubble up and lighten in color).
- Stir in the habanero jelly.
- Pour the caramel over the popcorn in the dutch oven and stir to coat.
- Pour the caramel corn onto the parchment paper, spread out, and place in the oven.
- Bake for approximately 45 minutes, stirring the popcorn every 15 minutes.
- Once done baking, cool on a rack for 10-15 minutes before enjoying. Store in an air tight container to keep the popcorn fresh.