Easy Caramel Corn — Updated!
This easy caramel corn recipe is our all-time favorite. I usually start making it in October when it cools off, though there’s really no need to limit it only to the holiday season. What I like about this recipe is it’s easy and rather small. It calls for 6 cups of popcorn plus a handful (or more) of peanuts or any other nut. It also happens to be a caramel corn recipe that does not require a candy thermometer
You can make the popcorn using your favorite method. Prepackaged microwave popcorn works well, you can pop your own popcorn in a brown paper sack. Popping corn in a brown sack takes a little practice in terms of getting the microwave time just right, so you may have to experiment a bit. I generally put about 1/4 cup unpopped corn in a lunch sack, fold the top over and leave lots of room for the corn to expand, and heat on high until popping subsides. Depending on how powerful your microwave is, setting and times will vary. In my old microwave, 1/4 cup of corn would pop in less than two minutes. In my new microwave it takes closer to 3. If your corn burns before all of it is popped, try using power level 8 or a slightly lower setting than high.
Easy Caramel Corn
- 6 cups popped popcorn
- 1/3 cup salted peanuts optional
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar light or dark okay
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt use 1/8 if using salted butter
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Spray a roasting pan with cooking spray or grease it with butter; Spread popcorn and peanuts in pan.
- In a heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add sugar, syrup and salt and bring to a boil. From the time the mixture reaches a boil, boil without stirring for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla. Pour over popcorn, mixing thoroughly.
- Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Let cool completely.