You GUYS. I found a truly perfect recipe for salted caramel corn. It’s just, well, perfect. Each piece of popcorn is coated just right, the texture is light and crispy, the flavor is amazing. The best part? The popcorn is wicked easy to make.
I found the recipe on my friend Brenda’s food blog A Farmgirl’s Dabbles. It’s her mom’s recipe for microwave caramel popcorn. I love Brenda and her mom forever for sharing it with us. Seriously, I don’t even know how many times I’ve made it in the last two weeks. Good thing I’m not on a diet for new year’s!
Because Brenda’s recipe makes a TON of popcorn, I figured out how to adjust everything down for a half batch. I wrote a post on Babble with step-by-step photos and instructions, but the recipe is also listed below.
- ~ 2 qts popcorn (1/2 cup un-popped)
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup butter
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt + more for sprinkling
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- Pop ½ cup uncooked popcorn and place in a large brown paper bag. Pop your popcorn however you want, starting with ½ cup kernels, which will yield about 2 quarts.
- Place brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and kosher salt in a microwave-safe bowl, preferably with a spout. Cook in microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove, stir to incorporate, then microwave for 1 more minute on high. Caramel should be boiling.
- Add baking soda and vanilla to caramel. Mix well then pour over the popcorn in the back, stirring to evenly spread caramel throughout the popcorn. (It does not need to be mixed perfectly.)
- Roll down the top of the brown paper bag and place in the microwave. Cook on high for 1 minute. Remove from microwave, keeping bag closed, and shake a LOT in every direction. Return bag to the microwave and cook on high for 1 minute. (Note: Since the bag is so big, it will not rotate while cooking. When I cook it for the first minute, I make sure the fold in the bag faces the back of the microwave. Then, for the second minute of cooking, I make sure the fold faces the opposite directly, to help distribute the cooking evenly.) Remove from microwave. Shake the bag a whole lot more.
- Pour popcorn out onto a rimmed cookie sheet. I like to line the tray with a large piece of parchment paper to help with clean up. This size batch will fill one tray completely. Sprinkle the popcorn evenly with a bit more kosher salt, then break up the popcorn with your hands to mix it up.