Baked Caramel Corn From Scratch

Yes, you make your own caramel and pop your own corn.

No, not the microwave stuff. You’ll need a popper . . . it’s about flavor, which must be savored . . . and anticipated.

This is an old family recipe . . . it does pay off to save old recipes tucked away . . . I can’t for the life of me know why my grandmother put this recipe . . . never mind . . . let’s just say she hid her recipes in clever places.

All right! Enough chatter . . . Let’s get to the recipe!

You can add your favorite nuts to this recipe. I prefer it without, but that’s just me.

You’re going to need:

  • 1 cup of butter
  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 24 cups of popped popcorn

Now, let’s get down to business:

  1. Preheat your oven at 250° F
  2. You’re going to pop the popcorn in a popcorn popper for best results — don’t sneak in the already popped stuff or the microwave variety . . . good old fashioned popcorn.
  3. Get out your saucepan . . . we’re going to make the caramel.
  4. Your saucepan and stove top are going to get real chummy while you carefully melt the butter — be careful, you don’t want it to burn.
  5. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup and salt.
  6. You’re going to be doing a lot of stirring while you bring the pot of buttery sweet brown sugar mixture to a boil.
  7. Stop stirring, allowing the pot to boil for about 5 minutes.
  8. Remove your homemade caramel from the heat and stir in the baking soda.
  9. Get out the turkey roaster . . . no, I’m not kidding. You’re going to need it for all your popped corn.
  10. Once the popped corn (without the unpopped kernals) are in the turkey roaster, slowly and gently pour over your popped popcorn.
  11. Bake at 250° F for about an hour.
  12. No, don’t sit down and wait for the timer. Every 15 minutes or so, you’re going to have to stir the popcorn to make sure every piece is covered with the golden delicious caramel . . . and not burning this delicious treat on the bottom of the roaster.
  13. As the caramel popcorn is baking you’re going to need to taste it from time  to time, closer to the end of the hour. Be careful!!! It’s been in the oven at 250° F. Be sure to blow on it — Don’t just pop it in your mouth!!!! Now, if it sticks to your teeth or is sticky and gooey, it’s not done. You want it crunchy not sticky.
  14. Remove your caramel popcorn from the roaster and break the clusters of popcorn apart. Be careful, it’s HOT!!!
  15. Allow to cool in the roaster, stirring it with a wooden spoon every 5 to 10 minutes to help it cool.
  16. I know you’re going to take a nibble or two. The popcorn gets cruncher as it cools.
  17. Grandma always put it in a crystal bowl . . . yes, put it in your fanciest bowl!!! This is an heirloom recipe!!!! Treat it with respect!!

All right, enough!!!

Speaking of enough . . . I hope you made plenty!! Your family is going to go wild over this!!!!

But, take your time . . . it’s not a gobbled down treat (even though it was cooked in a turkey roaster)!! Savor the flavor!

Until next time,