So I don’t know about you, but so many things are starting to feel like fall around here. The boys are back in school, some fall activities and kids sports are starting up. I’ve been putting away our summer decorations and getting out the fall things, all of them colored orange, yellow, red and shades of brown. I love it. Unfortunately, the temperature is still feeling very much like summer, but this recipe is the perfect gateway treat to fall. Even when it still feels like summer, this salted caramel popcorn just works. I made a big batch of this recently and took it to an outdoor concert and it was just right for a night with great friends, live music and amazing weather. All of my wonderful friends who taste tested this recipe for me reported back that it was delicious. Many of them surprised me and told me that caramel popcorn is one of their favorite treats. Also, for those of you who are looking for gluten free treats (aka Miss Nancy) this is a wonderful treat to make and share with everyone – it is party perfect!
The ingredients for this recipe are 16 cups of pre-popped popcorn (I bought the lightly salted popcorn from the grocery store but you can also air-pop 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels), 1 cup of salted butter, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1/3 cup of golden syrup or light corn syrup, 1 teaspoon of corse sea salt, 1 teaspoon of flakey sea salt (you can also just use 2 teaspoons of course salt divided) and 2 teaspoons of vanilla.
To get prepared for this recipe, I preheated the oven to 300 F degrees and lined my largest rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. I also poured all of my popcorn into a very large metal bowl.
Next, In a medium sized sauce pan I placed my butter, brown sugar, golden syrup and 1 teaspoon of course sea salt. I turn the heat to medium and mixed everything together while the butter melted. Once it was mixed, I let the caramel come to a boil and set my timer for 4 minutes and made sure not to stir while it boiled. Then, I removed the pan form the heat and mixed in the vanilla. Just so you know it will make an angry sound and bubble up when you pour it in. I let the mixture cool for about 2 minutes to make sure it stopped boiling. After it cooled down a little, I poured the caramel on top of the popcorn and used a large spatula to mix and cover the popcorn as evenly as possible. Don’t worry though if everything isn’t totally covered.
I poured the popcorn onto my prepared sheet pan and placed it in the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, I pulled the pan out of the oven and used my spatula and turn the popcorn over and stir it, this helps the caramel to spread over each piece of popcorn. Then I placed it back in the oven for another 10 minutes. I pulled it out of the oven again and sprinkled the flaky sea salt over the popcorn and stirred it again then placed it back in the oven for the last 10 minutes. After 30 minutes total I took the popcorn out of the oven. I placed parchment on my counter and spread the popcorn out to let it cool down. I broke up some of the large clumps, but left some intact because I think they are fun!
This popcorn is best made the day that you are going to eat it. Two main reasons being that if it is humid out, the caramel and the popcorn can get soft and it probably won’t last until the next day if you are trying to save it….too many nibbles will be taken and before you know, it will all be gone! I hope this helps you fill the gap in the seasons during the transition from summer to fall, treats always make everything better.
Recipe: Salted Caramel Popcorn
- 1 bag pre-popped popcorn or 1/2 cup of un-popped popcorn kernels (16 cups of popped corn)
- 1 cup salted butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup golden syrup or light corn syrup
- 2 teaspoons course sea salt divided or 1 teaspoon sea salt and 1 teaspoon flaky salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 300 F degrees and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour the popcorn into a large bowl.
- Place the butter, brown sugar, syrup and 1 teaspoon of salt into a medium sauce pan. Place the pan over medium heat and stir all the ingredients together while the butter melts.
- Allow the caramel to come to a boil and do no stir while it boils for 4 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla and mix. Allow the pan to cool for 2 minutes, making sure that the caramel is no longer boiling.
- Pour the caramel over the popcorn and mix as well as possible to cover the popcorn with caramel.
- Pour the popcorn on prepared backing sheet and spread it out. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Stir the popcorn. Bake for 10 more minutes. Sprinkle the flaky salt on top. Stir again. Bake for 10 more minutes. (30 minutes total)
- Line your counter with parchment and pour the hot popcorn on top and spread out to cool. Break up the large clumps if you want while it is cooling.
Recipe adapted from Cookies and Cups
Cheers to more great nights with great friends and great food!