I've had caramel on the brain. Caramel Corn, Caramel Apples, Caramel Cheesecake, and of course Caramel in my coffee. It must be a sign of Fall or Autumn or whatever you're in the mood to call it. I've succumbed, totally given up to the temptations of caramel and I'm enjoying every last bit of caramelly goodness..
I had made this as a special treat for our families movie night. I love the combination of the salty sweet caramel smothered over the popcorn, we added pecans to ours and thought about drizzling with chocolate this time but it was just too dang good to take this mix any further and we also weren't in the mood to wait for the chocolate to harden. Temptation won and we enjoyed it just the way it was.
Heat sugar, corn syrup and water in a large saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer ( I know the picture of the thermometer is missing but I used one I promise) over medium-high heat. Do not stir, swirl the pan if needed. Meanwhile heat cream, butter, and sea salt over medium heat in a small saucepan until butter melts.
Cook until sugar becomes a caramel brown color.
Slowly drizzle in the warmed cream mixture while stirring. Make sure to go slow as caramel will bubble up. Use a thermometer and cook to 245 degrees.
Remove from heat and add vanilla.
Toss 12 cups plain popped popcorn and 1 1/2 cups nuts (optional) with caramel. Divide evenly between 2 cookie sheets covered with parchment or silpat. Cook in a 275 degree oven for 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool. Break into bite size pieces.
Prep time: PT20M
Cook time: PT45M
Total time: PT1H5M
Yield: 12 servings
- 12 cups Plain Popped Popcorn
- 1 1/2 cups Nuts (Optional) I Used Pecans
- 1 1/2 cups Sugar
- 1/4 cup Corn Syrup
- 1/4 cup Water
- 3/4 cup Heavy Cream
- 5 tablespoons Butter
- 3/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Prepare 2 baking sheets covered with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large saucepan with a candy thermometer combine sugar, corn syrup and water. Heat over medium-high heat. DO NOT STIR. Only swirl the pan if needed. Until sugar becomes a caramel brown color.
- Meanwhile combine cream, butter and sea salt. Heat over medium heat until butter is melted.
- When sugar is a caramel brown color slowly drizzle in the cream mixture while stirring. Be careful as the sugar will bubble up as the cream is added. That is why it's important to go slow. Cook until mixture reaches 245 degrees.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- In a large bowl combine popcorn and nuts (if using). Slowly drizzle caramel over the top of popcorn while stirring. This is a great time to have someone help. Be careful not to get caramel on the skin it's HOT.
- Divide caramel covered popcorn evenly between the 2 baking sheets and place into preheated oven.
- Bake for 45 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Break into bite size pieces and enjoy.