Every holiday season, I have a weird hope that someone will gift me a giant tin of popcorn. You know the kind. The one that’s partitioned into three different popcorns: regular butter, fake cheese and crunchy caramel. Hopefully the side of the tin features a snowy scene or Peanuts characters. (Am I alone here?!)
But every year, I am let down. (Well, except for one year at work when a client sent the whole office one tin to share. That puppy was gone in a day, though, and I had to share it with 14 people.) I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands. I’ve already explored a lot of recipes for popping corn on the stove — remember this chipotle lime version and this one with spring herbs? I love making popcorn at home and then jazzing it up with unexpected flavors.
Today, I’m sharing a recipe for Sea Salt Caramel Popcorn, which is everything you’ve ever dreamed of if you love those popcorn tins as much as I do. This popcorn has the toffee crunch of regular caramel corn, plus a sprinkling of sea salt to balance out the sweetness. This popcorn would make a great snack or party appetizer this fall, but you could also give it as gifts this holiday season. You won’t be wishing for any more of those cheesy tins once you realize how easy caramel corn is to make at home. // susannah
Click below to see the recipe for Salted Caramel Popcorn!
This Sea Salt Caramel Popcorn has the toffee crunch of regular caramel corn, plus a sprinkling of salt to balance out the sweetness.
- 1/2 cup uncooked popcorn kernels OR 10 cups air-popped popcorn
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (one stick)
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Make the popcorn. In a medium saucepan, bring oil to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring often.
- Add popcorn kernels in a single layer and cover saucepan with a lid. When the popcorn begins to pop (after about 2-3 minutes), shake the pot over the heat for about 3 minutes, until popping slows. Remove from heat immediately and let cool.
- Prepare baking sheets. Preheat the oven to 200F degrees. Spread the popcorn out onto 2 large baking sheets. Set aside.
- Make the caramel. In another medium saucepan, melt butter on medium-high heat. Add sugar, corn syrup, cream of tartar and salt. Stirring constantly, bring mixture to a boil for about 5 minutes. Working quickly, remove saucepan from heat and stir in the baking soda. Mixture will become thick and bubbly. Pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn and toss gently until all the kernels are coated.
- Place baking sheets in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove pans one at a time and stir each one again before heating for another 30 minutes.
- Season and cool. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt. Let the popcorn cool on the pan. If desired, break apart any large clusters. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.