Friday, August 13, 2010

Movie Night?

(above) Crunchy Caramel Popcorn

I love sugar on my popcorn. I have been witnessed dumping spoonfuls of sugar into bags of the plain popcorn sold every week at school to the chagrin of my disgusted friends. "Sugar? On popcorn?!", they think. I really don't think they should be that shocked though because it's pretty evident that I have a ridiculously big sweet tooth. Because sugar + popcorn = really really delicious, I decided to make my own caramel corn.
In this recipe, popped popcorn is thrown in a simple caramel sauce and baked in the oven until crispy; the result is a wonderfully crunchy, sweet caramel popcorn. It wasn't exactly like movie theater popcorn though, because the coating wasn't as smooth and shiny. Nonetheless, this popcorn was delicious and a perfect snack to stash away in zip lock bags. I would highly recommend that you let the caramel sauce cool down before pouring it over the popped popcorn to avoid popcorn shrinkage. I also cut the baking time to around 25 minutes. I might try adding in chopped cashews as the recipe suggests to add different flavors and textures.
(above) Half a cup of popcorn kernels makes a surprisingly large amount of popped popcorn.

(above) A big pot of fresh, plain popcorn!

(above) Butter, brown sugar, water and salt create the caramel coating.
(above) The popcorn coated in the caramel - before baking.

(above) Caramel popcorn!
Crunchy Caramel Corn
Serves 6
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
1/2 cup corn kernels
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking sheet
1 cup cashews, coarsely chopped (optional)
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
Coarse salt

  1. In a large heavy-bottom saucepan, stir together 1 tablespoon oil and 1/2 cup popcorn kernels; cover partially with lid to allow steam to escape.Cook over medium heat until popping slows, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand (covered) until popping stops, 1 minute.
  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter a large rimmed baking sheet; set aside. Place popcorn in a large bowl; if using cashews, add to bowl and toss to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, bring butter, sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons water to a boil, stirring constantly. Working quickly, drizzle popcorn with sugar syrup, and toss.
  4. Spread popcorn evenly on prepared baking sheet. Bake, tossing occasionally, until golden and shiny, about 40 minutes. Transfer hot popcorn to parchment-paper-lined baking sheet; let cool. Store in airtight container up to 1 week.


  1. very systematic instructions

  2. I LOVE sweet popcorn! My friends think it's weird when I mix M&Ms or Reeses Pieces in. Are you kidding? It's delicious. Making caramel corn looks like fun. I'm going to have to try this in the fall sometime.

  3. I love caramel corn! I made it once for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit, but I lost the recipe. This year I'll try out yours!