Episode 2: Caramel Popcorn

The basic process: Make caramel, pour over popcorn and peanuts, stir, spread onto cookie sheets, and bake for fifty minutes (stirring every ten minutes).

I forgot to mention in the episode that I added about 3/4 cup of peanuts to the popcorn. You can have anywhere from 1/2 cup to a full cup of peanuts (or none at all, but then it lacks crunch).

If your popcorn is already salted, don't add salt to the caramel.

Here's the recipe:

Popped popcorn 1/2 to 1 cup peanuts 1 stick (8 Tbsp) butter 1 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup corn syrup 1 tsp salt 1 tsp vanilla 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 pot or large pan 1 bowl 2 cookie sheets, preferrably rimmed Parchment paper, if possible

Pop enough popcorn to mostly fill a large bowl. Add the peanuts. Separately, line the cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Melt the stick of butter in the pot, on a burner set to 3 out of 10, while pre-heating the oven to 250° F. When the butter's melted, add the brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Let it come to a boil (large bubbles). Let it boil for three minutes.

Add the vanilla and baking soda and stir until completely combined; the mixture will expand and lighten in color quickly. Pour all over popcorn and peanuts, and stir until combined. Spread mixture onto cookie sheets and put in oven.

Bake for 50 minutes. Every 10 minutes, remove sheets from oven and re-mix the caramel popcorn to redistribute the caramel. Keep the mixture together in a large mass.

Remove from the oven, cool, break into chunks, and enjoy.

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