As I look out my window today, the leaves are changing colors on the trees in the yard.  We actually got our first frost last night here in Vermont. It’s a bit early for the changing season but cooler weather is inevitable. While the cold temperature isn’t my favorite thing about autumn in Vermont, the different autumn tastes definitely are.  I love everything pumpkin, apple and caramel – from lattes to muffins to popcorn!

Make Your Own Delicious Caramel Popcorn Recipe

If you haven’t ever tasted homemade caramel popcorn, you really need to. There is just no comparison to store-bought caramel popcorn. The taste is richer and more authentic when you make your own caramel popcorn recipe. Plus, when you make the recipe from scratch, you can control what ingredients you use.

This caramel popcorn recipe is one that I make each year. While you can form it into popcorn balls, this caramel popcorn is perfect just to snack on as is. If you want to make it into caramel popcorn balls, instead of breaking it apart and spreading it on a cookie sheet, form it into a sphere shape while it is still warm (while wearing gloves).

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup unpopped popcorn kernels
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • ½ cup + 1 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Pour the popcorn kernels and oil into a medium pot. Cover with the lid and cook over medium heat until the popcorn starts to pop.
  • Shake the pot so that it doesn’t burn. Cook until you don’t hear any more popping, about 5 minutes.
  • Spread the popcorn on the lined cookie sheet to cool. Remove any unpopped kernels.
  • Mix the granulated sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup and water in another medium pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook without stirring until it reaches 235F and turns a color similar to honey.
  • Add the butter to the pot and slowly swirl to mix. Cook until it reaches 300F and is about 2 shades darker and the bubbles are smaller.
  • Add the baking soda and the salt. Whisk until well mixed.
  • Fold the popcorn into the caramel until it is coated. Pour the popcorn back onto the lined sheet pan. Separate and allow to cool.
  • Store in a tightly covered container.