I ate way too much of this popcorn over the weekend. My husband and I both did – and that’s why we sent the rest of it away to share with coworkers. Thank goodness we know people who are willing to take lots of sweet treats off our hands. I greatly appreciate it, as I really don’t want to eat all these goodies myself : ) Such as this popcorn, I seriously couldn’t stop eating it. So bad.
I usually don’t like popcorn all that much. But this past Christmas my uncle got us a popcorn maker and I wanted to give it a little use. I tried one other savory popcorn recipe a few months back and it wasn’t all that great. I put the machine away in a closet and forgot about it until recently. I was in the mood for something sweet, so I decided to give caramel corn a try. I was also feeling festive so I made a few changes to give it a fun spin. I added in a little cinnamon, some cinnamon chips and apple chips – and was very happy with the result. You get just a hint of cinnamon in each bite, but not too much to overpower the caramel itself. The apple chips work wonderfully in the mix and add a little bit more interest to the popcorn.
I am now completely hooked on this stuff. Suffice it to say that the popcorn maker will be getting a lot more use now that I’ve discovered the wonder that is caramel corn. I have a feeling this will also be making an appearance as an appetizer/snack prior to our Thanksgiving meal. But more on that Friday.
- 1 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 cups packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅓ cup cinnamon chips
- 1 ½ to 2 cups apple chips (homemade or store-bought), roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Spray two large baking sheets lightly with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- Pop the popcorn kernels on the stove-top or in a popcorn maker. Add the popped popcorn to a large bowl (or two bowls if needed – I used two).
- Add the butter, sugar, corn syrup and salt to a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Stir frequently as the butter melts to combine all the ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil (with the pan still over medium heat). Once it reaches a boil, let it boil for 5 minutes without stirring. Turn off the heat and stir in the baking soda, vanilla and cinnamon. The mixture will bubble and rise up. Pour the caramel over the popcorn in the bowls. Stir until the popcorn is well coated.
- Transfer the popcorn to the two baking sheets and spread out evenly. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Sprinkle the cinnamon chips evenly over the popcorn and stir to combine. Continue to bake for 30 to 45 more minutes, stirring again halfway through.
- Remove the pans from the oven. Evenly sprinkle the apple chips over the popcorn and stir to combine. Transfer the popcorn to waxed paper and spread out to dry. Once cool, break into pieces and store in an airtight container.
Caramel corn base slightly adapted from Paula Deen.