One of my favorite parts of Fall is the television. Yes, I know. I’m pathetic. Can’t help it! I love Fall TV!
I also love the pretty leaves, the cooler weather, and, of course, Halloween and Thanksgiving, so I’m not a complete loser.
Back to the TV. I love it. It’s so nice to curl up on the couch at night and watch a good show. The kids and I love watching The Biggest Loser together. Both my 9 year old son and my 4 year old daughter enjoy watching Food Network. My son’s favorite show is Chopped and my daughter’s is 30 Minute Meals with Rachel Ray (especially if Rachel is cooking chicken!). My kids have apparently inherited both my love of food and of good TV!
When the kids see me settling in for a good show or if we happen to turn on a movie to watch, they instantly ask for popcorn. I’m usually happy to oblige, but sometimes plain old popcorn gets boring, so lately I’ve been surprising them with this caramel corn. They love it and so do I!
Homemade caramel corn in minutes? Count me in! We make this alllll the time.
To start, pop some corn. You can use microwave if you want, but honestly, popping corn on the stove is so simple! Check out Simply Recipes for how to make perfect popcorn.
For the caramel you just add butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup to a microwave safe bowl and heat it all up! Stir in some baking soda and vanilla, dump it on your popcorn and stir. Seriously, does it get easier than that?
Some people like their caramel corn soft and chewy and some like it hard and crunchy. I prefer it to be more crunchy than chewy, but not so hard that it breaks my teeth, you know? If you like it soft, go ahead and eat it immediately. If you want it a little crunchier, bake it for 10 to 20 minutes depending on how crunchy you want it!
If you want to liven things up a bit, add a dash of cinnamon to the caramel. It adds a little depth to the flavor. You could also add some peanuts if you really wanted to go crazy!
Homemade Caramel Corn
- 12 cups popped popcorn about 1/2 cup kernels or about 3 bags microwave popcorn
- 1 cup peanuts optional
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup butter cubed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon optional
- Pinch of salt
- Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees.
- Place popcorn and peanuts (if using) in a large bowl and set aside.
- Add the brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter to a small microwave safe bowl.
- Microwave for 2 more minutes and stir.
- Return to microwave for another 2 minutes. Stir to combine. The mixture should be hot and bubbly.
- Stir in the vanilla, baking soda, and cinnamon (if using). The mixture will get a bit foamy.
- Stir and then pour over the large bowl of popcorn. Mix well to coat popcorn and sprinkle lightly with salt.
- If you want your caramel corn very chewy, go ahead and eat it now. Otherwise, pour caramel corn onto a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet in a single layer.
- Bake for 5 minutes and then stir and taste. Keep baking and stirring every 5 minutes (up to 20 minutes of baking) until the popcorn is as crunchy as you'd like. It will harden up a bit as it cools.
- Break apart any large clumps and let cool.
Tips & Notes:
adapted from Get off your butt..and Bake!