Best Soft Caramel Corn Recipe
Best Recipe For Soft Caramel Popcorn Plus Crunchy Option
Have you ever tasted fresh popped popcorn slathered and mixed with a warm sauce of soft buttery caramel? Ohhh! Are you in for a luscious snack treat when you make Soft Caramel Corn! Even the aroma is a big draw. This is the best caramel popcorn we've tasted and my recipe, below, is quick to make. It's aching to be eaten still warm, while at it's finest.
- I have re-created and improved my old-time soft caramel popcorn recipe . . . Adjusting it here and there, testing and re-testing, tweaking to perfection. Making it my own! I'm happy with the delicious result.
You Can Go Solo, Or Ask a Family Member To Help With The Final Step in Making This Recipe.
My husband loves the soft caramel corn, and now assists me when making it. I've made it myself, but I so appreciate his help. It is easier having a helper stir the caramel sauce into one of the two pans of popcorn. If you have a teen or adult in your household, you might grab them to help with this part. It must be done quickly so it mixes easily. Doing it yourself is doable if you use a super large bowl to mix the coating on the popcorn.
- My Photos Showing Steps in Making the caramel corn, along with tips, will lead you to the recipe below.
Crispier Recipe Option For Hard-liners of Crunchier Caramel Corn
If you like the crispier cracker jack-type caramel popcorn you can first cook my softer recipe. Then, mix it into the popcorn and bake the batch in the oven, stirring occasionally to crisp it. Instructions are included.
Credit: Photos & Soft Caramel Popcorn Recipe: The author, aka, MariannesWhims
First Step Is Popping Your Popcorn - We make ours in this Nordic Ware Microwave Popcorn Popper.
A Quick Caramel Corn Recipe Made In No Time.
This caramel corn recipe can take less than 30 minutes to make, once ingredients and utensils are gathered.
Gather Some of The Utensils and Pans Needed for This Recipe
~air popper or microwave popcorn popper
~liquid and solid measuring cups
~silicone heat resistant spatula
or long handled spoon
~2 large dutch ovens/roaster or
~1 large aluminum turkey roaster
or l super-size stainless steel bowl
Choose Heat Resistant Long Handled Stirring Utensils
Grocery Shopping List
Check this list before your next grocery shopping trip. Here's every ingredient you'll need for making the Best Soft Caramel Corn.
- Light corn syrup Karo with Vanilla. It did not contain high fructose.)
- Peanuts (optional)
- Baking soda
- Cream of tartar
Why Glass Measuring Cups Are Preferred By Many Over Plastic.
- The red measurements are clear to see, yet, the greatest feature is they are made of glass.
- Glass measuring cups are easier to clean, especially after measuring oil, or using them to serve syrup, or gravy.
- Plastic can look smudgy or scratched. Scratches can pick up bacteria.
- Glass most often are dishwasher safe and microwaveable.
- Some plastics may contain PVC's that leach toxins.
- Withstands hot liquids.
Preparations Before Getting Started
1. Rub a thin film of butter on pans to be used for mixing the caramel corn.
2. Butter the stirring utensils. Don't butter the handles where you grip.
3. Mix baking soda, salt and cream of tartar, together in a very small bowl. Place by stovetop.
4. Pop the popcorn.
It Helps To Split Popcorn between 2 Pans.
Next, Melt Your Butter. Add Brown Sugar. Stir. Then, Add Corn Syrup. Stir All Together.
Alert Your Helper In Time
If you have a helper, ask them to be ready as you start to cook the caramel. It can harden fast if cooked too long or not stirred into the popcorn immediately. Hot caramel can burn your skin. Do not touch or eat it while it is super hot. Keep children at a safe distance away for their safety.
Once Caramel Starts To Boil--- Stop Stirring! - Set The Timer For 4 Minutes
When Timer Goes off, Quickly Add Mix Of Baking Soda, Salt, and Cream of Tartar - Don't Stir More Than a Few Gentle Strokes To Mix.
Pour Caramel Sauce Over Popcorn In Both Pans and Stir It To Mix Well. This Step Goes Fast and Is Critical To Do Immediately. Be Careful Of The Hot Caramel.
The Finished Soft Caramel Corn - Look Luscious? It Sure Is!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25-30 minutes
Soft Caramel Popcorn Recipe - Ingredients
- 1 cup to 1 1/4 cup Popcorn kernels, Pop 1/2 cup at a time
- Peanuts (optional)
- 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 cubes)
- 1 cup brown cane sugar, Dark or light
- 1/2 cup corn syrup, Karo Syrup-has 0% high fructose
- 3/4 teaspoon soda
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Instructions For Best Soft Caramel Corn
- First: Pop the popcorn. Remove un-popped kernels. Pour popcorn between two buttered roasters, Dutch ovens, or one super large bowl or large turkey roaster. Peanuts may be added, if desired.
- Mix baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar in a tiny bowl and place by stovetop. Have corn syrup and brown sugar measured and ready by stovetop. Cut up butter in a few pieces and place it in a saucepan.
- Alert your helper (if available) to be ready soon to help with stirring caramel sauce into the popcorn.
- Melt butter in a sauce pan (heat below medium).
- Stir in brown sugar. Add corn syrup and stir. Adjust temperature to medium heat.
- Watch sauce and stir occasionally until boiling begins.
- When mixture starts to boil, remove spatula or spoon and set timer for 4 minutes. Important--Stop stirring while boiling.
- Let caramel sauce boil steadily on medium heat for 4-minutes, without stirring. Do not overcook.
- Immediately, take pan off heat and add mix of soda, cream of tartar, and salt, stirring gently only a few stirs to mix bubbling sauce. (Caramel sauce will become frothy with baking soda mixture and swell up.)
- Hot Mixture: Use Caution Not to Burn Skin.
- Next: Without delay, carefully pour hot frothy caramel sauce over popped corn in both pans. Stir, mixing sauce into popcorn.
- Ready to eat soon while still warm. Store in a covered container.
- Bon Appetit!
- Recipe Credit: The author, aka, MariannesWhims
Do You Like My Soft Caramel Popcorn Recipe?
Recipe Instructions For Final Steps To Baking Crunchier Caramel Corn
Many caramel popcorn recipes are not finished unless baking the caramel corn in the oven. The caramel corn recipe is already so good when it is warm with soft chewy caramel that I don't bake it. It is a little tacky when warm (definitely not recommended for those with braces or other devices in the mouth.)
But, For Those Who Prefer Crunchier, Drier Caramel Corn:
Here's instructions for this final step to bake soft caramel corn (made from my recipe on this page) in the oven:
Preheat oven to 200 degree F.
Put caramel corn in a large greased roaster. Bake in oven for one hour, Stirring occasionally. When done, spread caramel popcorn on a Demarle Silpat or waxed paper to cool. Store in a tightly covered container.
Do you remember the first time you tried caramel corn? How about soft caramel corn?
My first recollection was having Cracker Jack when I was around five years old. I was especially impressed with the peanuts and the prize in the box. Later, when I was close to middle school age a neighborly lady from next door brought over a large bowl of freshly made soft and tacky caramel corn to share with us while visiting. It was still warm. It surpassed eating Cracker Jack, hands down! The aroma was heavenly and so was the taste.
We would love to read your caramel corn comment.
Which Type Caramel Popcorn Do You Like Better? - Pick A Side: State Your Preference
Do you Like Warm, soft Caramel on Your Popcorn OR Crunchy Crisp Carmel Corn?
An Awesome Treat For Holidays, Parties, Movies, and Friends
When is a perfect time for caramel corn? Almost anytime is a fun time for caramel corn.
Why not make it to enjoy on family movie night or as a surprise treat for the kids when they come home from school. It would be fun eating it while taking a relaxing break on the patio after mowing the lawn or working in the garden.
Caramel Popcorn is popular at parties, holidays, breaks from school, given as gifts at Christmas, and while watching Nascar races, or sports on television.
How about at a tween slumber party (Oops! I'm dating myself. Slumber parties were so fun in my day, but they are called sleep-overs now. I hope they are just as fun.)
Getting back. . . Imagine sitting in a porch swing eating caramel popcorn, or huddled around a fire pit in the backyard with friends and family. I bet you can think of more occasions. Caramel corn is a good snack any season. A great way to make memories and start a family tradition.
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Enjoy some good memories over a bowl of caramel popcorn. More comments follow.
Spread some smiles today.
This microwave popper is the type we used, as shown in my own photo above. It does not require oil and is easy to use and care for with little cleaning.