Caramel Corn

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Caramel_Corn-2If you’ve been reading food blogs for a few years, you are more than likely familiar with my friend’s blog, Elly Says Opa!  And, if you know of Elly’s blog, you definitely know of a blogging event she used to host called Eat to the Beat.  I remember reading the collection of posts in my first years of blogging, and once I finally built up the nerve to start joining in on the fun, she decided to stop them altogether.   But, now that Elly’s 5-year blogging anniversary is approaching (congrats, Elly!) she is bringing Eat to the Beat back one last time to celebrate!  I’m so glad she is doing this because I finally have my chance to enter.  Even if it will be the only time, I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

The main idea for Eat to the Beat is to share a recipe that reminds you of a song.  You can post about it on your own blog, or just send Elly the recipe, photo and description.  She will take all of the submissions and publish a full round up on her blog the day of her 5-year anniversary – November 30th.  You can click here for more information and full instructions.  But, hurry, the deadline is November 27th!
eat-to-the-beatMy Eat to the Beat submission is this caramel corn, because when I was making it, all I could think of was the song “Dirty Pop” by NSync.  Maybe I should be embarrassed by this, but honestly, I’m not. 😉 Caramel Corn looks like dirty popcorn, right?  I’m so glad it’s not really a bowl of popcorn covered with dirt.  And, after you make this recipe, you will be grateful, too.

When we hosted the main course for our Progressive Dinner a few weeks ago, I wanted to serve homemade caramel corn as a party favor that also served as place cards at the table.  At the last minute, I ditched my plans to make it homemade and decided to buy the caramel corn instead.  It turned out very cute, but I was sorry that I offered my guests a store-bought version when homemade is so much better.Caramel_CornI still wanted to try my hand at homemade caramel corn, so a few days later I finally got around to making a batch.  The first attempt did not go so well, as the popcorn took nearly two hours to get crispy when the recipe called for only 45 minutes. It ended up with a burnt aftertaste, that Ben actually didn’t seem to mind.  But, I was devastated.

At first I thought it was the fault of the original recipe instructions, but during my second attempt, I figured out that I completely miscalculated the amount of popcorn I was using!  I had only used 8 cups of popcorn when I should’ve used more than double that!  Doh!  My second attempt was perfect.  I decided to halve the recipe this time (reflected below) but you can easily double it if you’re planning to feed a large crowd.

After my successful attempt, I was even more sorry that I didn’t make this for our Progressive Dinner, because it was so much easier than I ever thought it would be.  Next time. For sure.

Caramel Corn

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6-8 servings

Serving Size: 1 1/2 to 2 cups

  • 12 cups popped popcorn (either stove-top or microwave is fine)
  • 1 cup brown sugar (light or brown)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line the bottom and sides of a large roasting pan or two baking sheets with greased foil. Place popcorn in a large heat-proof mixing bowl; set aside.

Meanwhile, melt the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the baking soda and vanilla. Pour over the popcorn and stir to coat.

Spread the coated popcorn evenly onto the lined roasting pan or baking sheets. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. It will become crispy within a few minutes out of the oven. Break into chunks and serve immediately, or store in a ziplock bag for a couple of days.

Source: Adapted from Sing for Your Supper

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  1. I love Elly Says Opa! Well, I love all the Nest girls’ blogs! 🙂

    I’ve never made caramel corn before – I feel intimidated by it. Although your instructions look fairly simple…maybe I could give it a try!

  2. buahahaa, I love that your entry is associated with Nsync!! Everyone is a Justin Timberlake fan…somehow or someway!! LOL

    Looks absolutely fantastic. 😉

  3. This looks so so good!! Love Dirty Pop, no shame here 🙂

  4. I think “Dirty Pop” is an awesome song choice. Very creative. And I’m glad your second try went better than your first. I’m weird and I sometimes like a “burnt” flavor (not strong and bitter, but the dark brown french fries and chips are my fav) so I probably would have liked the first batch! 🙂

  5. Oh my goodness…I love this idea! Plus, caramel corn is just awesome. “Dirty Pop”…so funny!

  6. Love that song! You definitely took me back with that N’Sync reference! Love it!:) This popcorn looks wonderful!

  7. What a fun idea! This is the same caramel corn recipe I use and it is awesome! Yours looks great!

  8. I love, love, LOVE that you used N*Sync. You are too funny!

  9. Thanks so much for participating, Nikki! The caramel corn looks awesome, and that song is a total guilty pleasure of mine – much like caramel corn. 🙂

  10. Dirty Pop, love it! The popcorn looks great, too!

  11. I love caramel corn…I’m so impatient, I hate to wait for it to bake AND cool! But it’s so worth it!

  12. Nikki-do you happen to know if I can omit the corn syrup? I want to make this for growth group tomorrow but do not have corn syrup nor am I going to run out just for this-lol-3 kids made that an easy decision! Thanks!

    • Hi April, I think the corn syrup is needed. You can try a Google search for a recipe that doesn’t use corn syrup. But, since I’ve never tried it witout, I can’t really answer for sure. Tell hubby to go get you some corn syrup! 😉

  13. Some nuts would be good mixed in.

  14. Hi, i will like to try this recipe..for a candy bar, do you know if you can make this recipe with days ahead and if will stay fresh.

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