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Thursday, July 26, 2012

How to make the Perfect Caramel Popcorn

This post is dedicated to Michelle Song. *wink*

I found an incredible recipe for Caramel Popcorn the other day. It is easy to follow and the end result was so fantastic that I thought it was too good to keep it to myself. Consider today your lucky day because I am going to tell you where to find the recipe that I used for the caramel popcorn pictured in my last post. Besides, having showed you all that popcorn yesterday I couldn't just leave you hanging with an empty box. ;-)

I'll confess that when I first came across "How to Make Perfect Caramel Popcorn", I was rather skeptical. I have tried so many supposedly "perfect" recipes and more often than not, end up with some sad and unsuccessful results. This time, however, was different. The caramel popcorn was perfectly dry and crunchy. The caramel was just sweet enough to make every bite feels like a gentle caress without overwhelming the senses. This caramel popcorn was indeed Perfect.

It would be bad blogging etiquette to cut-and-paste the entire recipe here, so I am going to ask that you click HERE to see it. It is very detailed and easy to follow but I did change one thing about it. The recipe had called for microwaved popcorn but I made mine from scratch. For the benefit of those who have never made stovetop popcorn, here is an easy step-by-step:

Add 1 tbsp of cooking oil and...

... a 1/2 cup of uncooked popcorn kernels...

....into a deep skillet and turn on medium heat.

Keep the pan covered until you hear the first "POP!". When the rest of the kernels start to pop quickly, move the lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape.

Turn the stove off and move the pan away from the heat when the popping slows down.

At this point, to avoid burning the popcorn, you can remove the lid and dump the popcorn into a bowl to cool down and start working on the caramel sauce. (Note: Sometimes I just move the pan away from the heat with the lid on and leave the popcorn to finish popping in the pan. You know, just in case there are any stray kernels that are slow to pop. Wouldn't want any popcorn shooting out of my pan and definitely don't want any un-popped kernels in my caramel. Not fun to bite into a caramel-coated kernel. Ouch! So far, my popcorn have not burned from being kept in the pan.)

Once again, please click HERE for the full recipe for the caramel popcorn. For those of you who prefer a visual, here are a few photos that I took of the process:

I followed the recipe and combined the first three ingredients by stirring them in a saucepan over medium heat.

When it starts to boil, I used the water test mentioned in the recipe to test for the "hard ball" stage as I do not have a candy thermometer.

When the sauce reached the "hard ball" stage, I added in vanilla and baking soda. By the way, if you should accidentally add baking POWDER instead of baking SODA, don't panic. Just add the baking soda to the whole thing anyway. It will turn out okay, and maybe even add some extra crunch. Don't ask how I know. :P

I followed the recipe and spread the caramel over the popcorn on a prepared baking sheet (I lined mine with parchment paper) before putting it into a 250 degree (F) oven. This is how the popcorn looked like before "baking":

I had to spread the caramel every 10 mins to let it coat the popcorn more evenly but all that effort is worth it because 30 minutes later.....


Can you smell the caramel? Oh yeah, oh yeah.....

Waiting for it to cool down was the hardest part. It took a lot of self-restraint but I did wait for it to cool down enough to break the caramel popcorn apart. I even put them into the LD Popcorn Box to take this picture for you.

So what do you think? Are you drooling yet? Now that you know where I found the recipe, go make your own. This one's mine. *nom nom nom*


  1. sigh...caramel popcorn is my FAV snack...thanks for sharing!!!!

  2. Yum, and now you are a "food blogger" too! :) TFS

  3. Drooling on the keyboard...oh YUMMY!

  4. I LOVE sweet popcorn... and the only time I can get sweet popcorn is when I order from Garretts but it's so expensive that I don't do it often.

    Definitely gonna try this recipe.

  5. Thanks for this one. My fella will think he's died and gone to heaven. I'll be sharing a link on my FB page later today.

  6. Jin,
    You had me at caramel. I'm printing this recipe right now!

  7. Thank you so much! I made this last night and my lovely husband, who loves store bought caramel corn, loved it. We won't be buying it anymore!

  8. One superb recipe. I tried it and it was great.