One of my favorite snacks of all time is Homemade Caramel Corn. Sweet homemade caramel drizzled over lightly salted popcorn for a quick and easy snack that is perfect any time of the day.
Add in a few dry roasted peanuts and you have made your very own Cracker Jack mixture! However, I have to warn you. This recipe is so good that I often have to hide it from myself.
I know that sounds crazy. But if it is sitting out on the counter, I will take a handful whenever I walk by. And to be completely honest, I will sometimes make up a reason why I need to get up just to take another bite!
So when I was asked to share some of my favorite Fall recipes, I knew that my Homemade Caramel Corn had to be at the top of the list.
Peanuts Are Optional
Just keep in mind that the peanuts in this recipe are totally optional.
Because there are many people who suffer with peanut allergies, I do not add them when I am sharing with a crowd. However, because that is not an issue at our house, whenever I make this for my immediately family, I certainly add the peanuts into the mix.
Whether you add peanuts or not it also makes for a great Halloween snack. In my opinion it is much easier to eat than those huge popcorn balls that are popular this time of year.
Why not add in a little candy corn and make yourself the ultimate October treat!
How to Make Homemade Caramel Corn
The first step in making this recipe is to make your popcorn. We use 4 quarts of popped popcorn that we make ourselves. However be sure to use unbuttered, traditional popcorn kernels.
Simply place a little extra virgin olive oil in a large pot and throw a few kernels in over medium-high heat. Once the kernels pop, add in 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels and shake. Continue to shake while the kernels are popping.
Then remove the popcorn from the heat and let cool before proceeding to the next step.
Once the popcorn is cooled, spread them out on two large rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Then preheat your oven to 200°F.
Now it is time to make the Homemade Caramel Corn Sauce. In a medium saucepan, add the brown sugar, corn syrup, salt and butter. Heat until the mixture comes to a boil and then reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Immediately remove the caramel from the heat and add the baking soda and vanilla extract. Be aware that the baking soda will cause the caramel to bubble up.
Then quickly pour the mixture on top of the popcorn. Immediately stir and toss the popcorn to cover as much of it as you can. *You will not be able to coat every piece of popcorn.
Place the caramel corn in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Every 15 minutes be sure to stir and break up the popcorn so that the caramel can reach uncoated pieces.
Repeat this process for a total of 45 minutes. Then remove the homemade caramel corn from the oven and break up any large clumps and cool to room temperature.
Store in an air-tight container at room temperature. Enjoy!
Some of our other favorite Caramel Recipes:
To receive our 3 Recipe Articles in your inbox each week, sign up for our free email list located on the side and bottom of each recipe. You can also follow us on Facebook, and Pinterest. This article may contain affiliate links where a small commission is paid if you purchase a product at no additional cost to you.