I’m a fan of sweets, and my hubby loves popcorn. So I decided to turn one of his favourite snacks into a great movie night snack for both of us: caramel corn. But not just any boring caramel corn.. a nutty salted caramel corn! I’ve always loved caramel corn and I’m surprised I haven’t made it yet. It’s such a simple recipe and anyone could make this. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 bag of microwave popcorn
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 tbsp light corn syrup
- 2 tsp sea/kosher salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2-3 handfuls of any nuts you’d like (I chose almonds)
The nuts are optional so if you’re allergic, obviously omit it! You could try substituting in M&Ms or candy bars (kit kats) for something more special. Let’s get started!
- Preheat your oven to 300F. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper, or alternatively, spray your baking sheet with some cooking oil.
- Toast up them nuts! This is an optional step because the nuts will be baked and toasted a bit at the end, but I wanted to “revive” my almonds since they’re a bit on the old side. I didn’t season them, just plopped them on a baking sheet and roasted at 425F until I could smell them.
- Empty the popcorn and nuts into a large mixing bowl.
- Now the best part, the caramel sauce! In a non-stick medium pot, melt the butter, sugar, corn syrup, and 1 tsp of salt. If your sugar is clump, break it up and stir it to get it going. If your sugar is loose and it’s all melting nicely, then don’t touch it! Just let it melt and mix together on it’s own. Once it’s melted, let it boil on medium-high heat for 4 minutes. Don’t turn it up to high, or else you’re going to have burnt caramel (unless you like that flavour).
- Now the next step is optional as well. If you don’t your caramel to be too sticky and clumpy in the popcorn, you’ll want to add 1 tsp of baking soda right when the 4 minute mark is up. Vigorously stir it in until it’s combine. Then let it sit again, don’t touch it. When the mixture looks like it’s about to boil over (depending on how large your pot is), pour it over the popcorn mixture. You don’t have much time before the caramel cools, so start mixing the caramel and popcorn to distribute the caramel evenly. If you’re not adding the baking soda, just pour the caramel over the popcorn after 4 minutes is up and mix it until it’s evenly distributed.
- Spread it evenly onto your prepared baking sheet, sprinkle over top the remaining 1 tsp salt, and pop it in the oven for 15-25 minutes. Taking it out every 10 minutes to give it a quick stir. I give you a range of 15-25 minutes because everyone’s ovens are different. Some may be hotter than others, and you’d rather not have your caramel corn burnt.
- Take the popcorn out and let it cool completely. You will be tempted to sneak a taste but I’m telling you, WAIT! Because I tried to sneak a taste, and it was very hot! To help it cool faster, set it next to an open window or put a fan to it.
- Enjoy! This recipe doubles easily, just make sure your pot is big enough to hold the caramel.