Around Christmas time every year, my sweet Oma would always make us caramel popcorn. It was a tradition in our family and one I looked forward to every year. When I moved away from home, I would call her and tell her that I missed the popcorn and whenever I would visit, I always ask if she has some.
There is just something about this caramel corn that keeps you wanting more. It’s not like any caramel popcorn you’ve ever tried, I can promise you that. Once you know how to make this, your friends and family will be requesting it quite often. Thankfully, it’s not hard to make and you will most likely have the ingredients on hand.
The peanut brittle bits came about by accident yesterday. However, accident or not, I couldn’t believe how GOOD it tasted! I had to hide the bag. (Not sure that does any good.) I think the peanut brittle came about because a lot of the caramel mixture got on the cookie sheet as well so it was baking while the popcorn was baking.
I asked our friends on Facebook if they wanted me to share this recipe, over 25 people responded. Yes, of course they want me to share it. So, here goes.
Caramel Popcorn with Peanut Brittle Bits Recipe
1 cup butter (I used sweet cream unsalted. Do NOT use margarine)
½ cup light corn syrup
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt (A little more won’t hurt if you like things on the saltier side)
8 quarts popped corn (I used one large stock pot worth)
2 cups cocktail or spanish peanuts
Preheat your oven to 225 degrees.
Pop your popcorn on the stove according to kernel directions.
Notes on the best ways to pop the corn: I use 2 TBSP’s vegetable oil in the bottom of a big pot. Add enough kernels to cover the bottom of the pot without them overlapping. Tilt the lid on top and make sure that there is enough room to let steam come out without the popcorn escaping. Steam = soggy popcorn. Once popcorn is done, I like to let it cool and then remove as many of the kernels that didn’t pop as I can. You don’t want someone to take a big bite out of a uncooked kernel while eating this. The best way to do this I’ve found is to just dump out the popcorn on a cookie sheet a little at a time, making sure to leave the uncooked kernels in the pot. Dump out the seeds and pour the popcorn into a big bowl or back into the pot. This will make it easier to stir.
Combine the butter, corn syrup, brown sugar and salt in a small pan over medium heat. Stir until boiling. Boil this mixture without stirring for five minutes. After you boil the mixture, stir in the baking soda and vanilla.
Add the peanuts to the popcorn before pouring on the mixture.
Drizzle your caramel mixture over the popped corn/peanuts. Take your time to make sure that each kernel is covered. If you need to stop and make more caramel mixture, go ahead. I doubled it up to make sure I had enough. The popcorn can sit there while you do this, it won’t hurt anything. The more caramel the better :)
Dump the popcorn mixture onto cookie sheets. You may need to use 2 of them like I did if you make a lot.
Bake this seasoned corn in a pan for one hour, making sure to stir every 20 minutes to keep from burning. Bake the caramel popcorn for 60 minutes or so. Once the popcorn turns a dark brown color, the popcorn is finished. Spread the corn on wax paper while it dries. The caramel that was on the bottom of the cookie sheets will taste exactly like peanut brittle, especially if you get a bite with the peanuts in it. You will be surprised just how delicious it is with this caramel corn!
Make sure that you allow the popcorn to cool before breaking it up. It will also harden and give itself that crispy crunch. Mmm. Once the caramel popcorn is cool and broken, store it in an airtight container to keep it fresh.
Makes: Enough to fill 2 gallon size freezer bags
Storing: Are you kidding? It will be gone in no time. You can store it in an airtight container or a ziploc freezer bag.
Did you know that you shouldn’t use margarine on popcorn? One of margarine’s ingredients is water. Water & popcorn do not make for a good time.