This salted caramel popcorn mix includes salted caramel, popcorn, chocolate, your favorite nuts and is perfect for tailgating, snack time or your wine down time. (yes, I meant wine down and not wind down!)
‘Tis the season for football tailgates and we’re right around the corner from fall parties and the holidays. This salted caramel popcorn mix is a major crowd pleaser. I actually made it two days in a row last week – two batches for a work potluck and then again for a Saturday afternoon college football party with friends to watch the Iowa vs. Iowa State game. Happy to say the Iowa Hawkeyes pulled out the win!
I almost always have ingredients on hand to make this, so it’s also a great go-to snack to make when I don’t feel like making a grocery store run!
We’re big popcorn fans at our house and I can’t rave enough about our Whirley Pop stove top popcorn maker. My father-in-law bought us one for Christmas several years ago, and I’ve literally stopped strangers at Bed Bath and Beyond while they were looking at them to give my personal recommendation. Weird maybe, but everyone should have popcorn goodness in their life!
Three minutes later, dump the popcorn into a bowl while getting rid of any unpopped kernels. (this stuff is good, but not worth breaking a tooth over!)
Butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, baking soda, vanilla, and sea salt go into a pan to make the caramel.
Over medium heat, stir until melted, then let bubble for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir a final time and then pour over popcorn, coating as evenly as you can. I usually pour half over, stir and then pour the other half in and stir again. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees. This helps crisp up the caramel and not make it chewy or stick to your teeth.
After removing from the oven, add mixins over the top while still warm and sprinkle with sea salt to taste (optional) I used chocolate chips and peanuts. I love using cashews, but we didn’t have any on hand. Let cool just a few minutes, then break up and transfer to a bowl. You can also break up and transfer to a bowl first before adding your mixins. Just don’t wait to long or they won’t stick to the caramel. This is really good without the salt as well if you don’t want the sodium.
I’ve also used M&M’s and candy corn to mix into the popcorn. You really can’t go wrong with whatever you add in!
Salted Caramel Popcorn Mix
- 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn (you can also use store bought pre-popped popcorn).
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 5 tbsp salted butter
- 3 tbsp corn syrup
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- Mixins – I used 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup peanuts
- Sea salt to taste
- Heat oven to 300 degrees
- Pop popcorn and transfer to bowl removing unpopped kernels.
- Over medium heat, combine brown sugar, salted butter, corn syrup, vanilla, baking soda and a little sea salt. (I use 2 small twists of my sea salt grinder). Stir until butter is melted. Then let bubble for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour over popcorn and toss to coat.
- Transfer caramel popcorn on to a baking sheet and bake at 300 for 12-15 minutes.
- Remove from oven, add a little more sea salt to taste and sprinkle chocolate chips, nuts or other mixins over popcorn while still warm. Break up and transfer to serving bowl.
Linked Up At: Weekend Retreat