One of my favorite date nights doesn’t even involve leaving the house. When a week is super hectic or your Saturday ends up being filled with errands, laundry and brunch with friends, a night in is a welcomed occasion. That doesn’t mean it has to be a total bore though. Cook or order-in a delicious dinner, rent a movie you’ve been dying to see (and probably missed in the theater because you were too busy) and make this super addictive snack to go along. At least that’s what I do.
This homemade caramel corn is out of this world. I can seriously almost eat an entire batch by myself! I am a huge popcorn fan; be it plain jane, white cheddar, or this caramel nut combo. I have to be careful to not mindlessly eat this treat because next thing you know your hand is frantically scraping an empty bowl for more.
I used to buy those big tins of gourmet popcorn with the various flavors until I discovered how easy (and cheap) it is to make it yourself. It is heads and tails better than any store bought kind out there. The only necessary equipment needed for this recipe is a candy thermometer. This ensures that the caramel reaches the correct temperature. at which it stiffens and adheres to the popcorn.
I freshly popped my own popcorn. Super easy especially if you have a popcorn machine, but store bought popcorn works also. Just make sure you get plain or home-style because we will be adding all our own flavors. You definitely want to avoid the fake butter bags on this recipe. I’ve used almonds in my batch (a personal fav), but you can use any nut or combination of nuts you prefer.
Be prepared to be totally addicted, but don’t say I didn’t warn you!
- 10 cups freshly-popped popcorn
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup lightly salted almonds
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Pop the popcorn. Coat a large mixing bowl with non stick cooking spray and transfer popcorn to bowl.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt and water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
- Continue to simmer until mixture reaches 250 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
- Turn off the heat and whisk in vanilla and baking soda. Be careful because the mixture will bubble up at this point.
- Immediately pour the hot mixture over the popcorn. Using a rubber spatula to gently fold the caramel into the popcorn until all of the popcorn is coated. Gentle stir in the buts and transfer mixture to the prepared baking sheet, spreading out evenly.
- Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Gently break up the popcorn.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.