I don’t know what happened or when or why but all of a sudden I love caramel popcorn. I mean I definitely enjoyed it before but now I have an entirely new appreciation for it. It all started with this pin from Pinterest for microwave caramel popcorn with nuts. Nuts + caramel + popcorn= too good to be true. Naturally, I tried it out. However, to make microwave caramel popcorn you need a paper bag in which the popcorn pops buuutttt I didn’t have any paper bags. A few google searches later I came across a recipe for homemade caramel popcorn sans corn syrup. So seeing as I did not have corn syrup or a paper bag, I chose the slightly more complicated but also more authentic version.
I’m actually pretty happy I went with the homemade recipe. It may have taken longer, but it was totally worth it. The entire apartment smelled heavenly. Baking during the holidays is one of my favorite things to do. It just doesn’t get better than sweet aromas, sugary treats, and the satisfaction of eating and sharing something you made.
I halved this recipe since I just made it for myself but I’ve included the original list of ingredients since it is the holidays and you’ll probably want to share this yumminess (or not…) Also, the homemade caramel sauce recipe calls for heavy whipping cream, which I also did not have, so I substituted a mixture of 2% milk and butter. I couldn’t even tell a difference.
Homemade Caramel Popcorn
Homemade Caramel Sauce
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cream (here is the substitute I used – replaces 1 cup of heavy cream)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place the brown sugar, butter, and cream into a medium sized saucepan. Cook over medium to high heat until ingredients are melted and well mixed, stirring constantly. Bring mixture to a boil and boil for one minute, while continuing to stir. Pour mixture into a mixing bowl and add vanilla extract. Whip with beaters for three minutes so that it will thicken.
Pop 1 cup of popcorn and put it into two 8×13 inch baking dishes. Stir together the caramel sauce ingredients, stirring in 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the popcorn, add nuts of choice (I used cashews) and mix well. Bake at 250° for 10 minutes, then stir the popcorn. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove Caramel Corn from oven and serve.