I’m sitting at my desk eating my second bowl of homemade caramel corn! I know
I should be shot, but this stuff is addicting. Make this old-fashioned delight and
you’ll have another bowl too. This delicious recipe started out with my dental
hygienist. I know, interesting person to get a caramel corn recipe from, huh? I
made a few modifications of my own and I’m head over heels nuts about this
You will notice from the recipe below that I am using English Toffee syrup. If you
cannot access flavored syrups then go back to a teaspoon of vanilla or maybe
even butter rum extract. Start with one teaspoon and then temper the amount
from there. One of my friends had an interesting idea. She suggested using Kool-
Aid for the flavor giving the options of more bright colors. Remember if you try
this that you will need to use the packets that have no sugar or imitation sugar
included in the packet. And you may need to change from brown sugar back to
white sugar. On the corn syrup I have been using the ‘light corn syrup’ with no
When it’s time to bake the corn here are a few suggestions. Consider using a
13 quart metal bowl for stirring the sauce into the popcorn. If you are lucky this
bowl will fit in your oven and you can just stir the corn in one dish. In my work
kitchen this doesn’t work so we divide the popcorn between two roaster pans
which makes it much easier to stir every 15 minutes. Carmel corn has to be baked
to dry the corn out otherwise it is extremely chewy.
Use a hot-air popcorn popper for this project, microwave popcorn just doesn’t
work. However, I’ve had folks tell me just this past week that you can put 1/8th
of a cup of popcorn kernels inside a brown bag lunch sack. Fold the open end
over a couple of times and cook it in your microwave using the popcorn button. I
haven’t tried this but I’ve been told about it by so many people, it has to work!
Last week I commented on ‘Christmas in July’, well this ‘is’ a good time to start
laying a bit of groundwork for holiday gifts. Wouldn’t it be fun to fill a tin with
your own caramel corn and cinnamon corn? Carmel corn, like kettle corn can go
in the deep freeze, I just wouldn’t leave it for a long period of time.
This will be one time when I tell readers to NOT use parchment paper while
baking the caramel corn. It just doesn’t work, and to be honest your pans don’t
get all that sticky during the baking.
Let’s discuss the final step in making the caramel corn sauce. The baking soda
needs to come into the recipe just after you have removed the sauce from the
heat. You will notice the sauce gets lighter in color and it foams up a bit. As soon
as this happens pour it over the popcorn. The baking soda actually helps aerate
I think I’ve given you enough tips and suggestions to make your next caramel corn
a total success I’m sure you’ll enjoy setting it out in bowls this fall when it’s time
for tailgaters and football games. Perhaps you should do a practice run first. It’s
really not hard and it’s usually enjoyed by all ages.
Have an outstanding week everyone. Simply yours, The Covered Dish.
8 quarts of air popped popcorn (approx. 1 cup of kernels)
1 cup butter, (two sticks)
2 cups lightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Karo syrup
1 tablespoon English Toffee Syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pop the popcorn and using two different bowls remove all unpopped kernels.
In a saucepan place the butter, sugar, salt, karo syrup and English toffee syrup.
Cook over medium heat until the mixture begins to boil. Boil and stir for about
five minutes, remove from heat and add the baking soda, stirring. As the sauce
lightens and sorta’ foams up it’s time to start pouring it over the popcorn. Gently
stir the popcorn to coat. Place in two roaster pans and bake in a 250 degree
oven for one hour stirring the popcorn at 15 minute intervals. Cool to room
temperature and bag.