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Summer Snacks: Homemade Caramel Corn

Summer is here and although I love to bake, I just can’t bring myself to crank the oven on very often.  But, Judah loves to snack so wholesome snacks are a must, so that called for me to do a little searching through my recipes to find delicious snacks that I can make without heating the house with the oven.

Of course, summer is the season for fruit and Judah would practically live on it so we keep a ton of it in our fridge: grapes, strawberries, blueberries, apples, and bananas and soon we’ll have melons!  Judah also loves yogurt and Laughing Cow Cheese wedges with pretzels.  But, I also like to keep a few homemade things around, like popsicles, fruit dip, caramel sauce, and this week caramel corn!

This is the first time I’ve made caramel corn and I was thrilled to find out it isn’t hard and it comes together pretty quickly!  The taste is fabulous – kind of like Crunch n’ Munch – only better (and with ingredients I control!).  I used organic popcorn that I bought in bulk at Earth Fare – it is very cheap this way – cheaper than microwave popcorn- and its GMO free!

:: Caramel Corn

1 tsp vegetable oil (next time I’m going to experiment with coconut oil)
1/2 cup organic unpopped popcorn kernels
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
2 Tbps butter, cut into butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
*Optional: 1 cup dry roasted peanuts or other nuts

Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Warm oil in a large pot over high heat. Add popcorn, cover and cook, until all popcorn is popped. Transfer to a bowl and if using peanuts, go ahead and pour them in.

In another pot combine 1/4 cup water with the sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium and cook without stirring until mixture turns a light amber color.

Remove the mixture from the heat and add in the butter, vanilla, and salt. Stir it all together. Pour the caramel over the popcorn and stir it gently around to ensure it coats all of the popcorn (you’ll need to work quickly!).

Scrape the popcorn out onto the prepared baking sheet to cool. After it has cooled about 15 minutes break it into pieces and place it into an airtight container.

My family prefers it without nuts. I put ours into a glass jar that I bought at Walmart that is great for storing snacks and has a screw top lid. It has lasted over a week and a half and still tastes fresh! It was a huge hit and since it really isn’t time consuming I am sure I’ll make this several times this summer!

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  1. Mandy Berry says:

    I have a friend that uses coconut oil for her popcorn. It is so yummy! She has found a lot of recipes using coconut flour also.

  2. Would it work with air popped popcorn too?

  3. Try coconut oil it is wonderful for popcorn or any frying. I have been using it for about 2 yrs. I buy mine at greenlife,Walmart carries a brand but it is not organic or unrefined. I have found that when stir frying or cooking fajitas I use alot less coconut oilthan vegetable oil.

    • Denisesawyer says:

      We’ve been using coconut oil in our deep fryer for a couple of years now but when there are a few things I pan fry that I’ve been {reluctantly} using vegetable oil in. It finally dawned on me that I could be using coconut oil in these dishes too! I have tried popping corn in olive oil and it was a bust. I figured coconut oil would work – it was just another one of those “aha!” moments that I should have tried it years ago!
      Denise Sawyer
      wholesome mommy

  4. Jennifer says:

    ok, I tried this tonight because it looked so good, but mine was a disaster. by the time I poured the caramel on the popcorn and grabbed my spoon to stir it, it was hard as a rock. from the pieces that actually did turn out ok, it was delicious. what am I doing wrong? I may have to enlist my hubby to stir as I pour next time. Its not often a recipe whips me, but this one sure did. help! haha

    • Denisesawyer says:

      Okay so I was thinking back at what I did and here are some tips that {might} help?!
      I poured part of the caramel in and stirred the popcorn around a bit so that uncovered pieces were on top and then I poured on the rest – again working really fast. I stirred with the same spoon I was pouring/scraping with to save time from having to reach for a spoon.
      Other than that, perhaps your caramel was a little too done? Not sure, but that could have caused it to harden faster.
      Hope that helps,
      Denise Sawyer
      Wholesome Mommy

  5. This looks delish! I’ve made my own caramel corn before and I’ve used an air popper, so that does work. The other thing I do is add a bit more butter. Maybe that’s why I didn’t have to work as fast? Just a suggestion

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