I’m working my way through some caramel recipe ideas that have been keeping me awake at night, and it hasn’t been a hardship for me at all; I love caramel! I don’t think I’ve ever met a bowl of caramel corn that I didn’t like, and this is no exception. Of course, I also love candy corn. If you’re not a fan (and I know there are some of you out there) you can substitute something else that screams “Fall” to you. Maybe Reeses Pieces? M&Ms? Black licorice? (Haha, got you there. Black licorice would be gross. I think. Hmm.)
I like lots of nuts in my caramel corn, so I used a generous amount of peanuts. Any nuts would be good, though. They have a tendency to stay at the bottom of the pan, so do try to encourage them to mingle with the popcorn. Of course, if you remember what Cracker Jack was like, the peanuts (all two of them) were always at the bottom of the box. Rebels!
A drizzle of melted white, yellow, and orange candy melts added to the festive autumn theme. Go lightly with melted white chocolate; it can overwhelm the flavor of the caramel, and you wouldn’t want to do that!
The recipe calls for 4 quarts of popcorn, which may sound like a lot, but believe me—it really isn’t. This stuff has a tendency to disappear before your very eyes, and it stores well in an airtight container. I used mushroom popcorn because I wanted the big, round, fluffy kernels.
Speaking of recipes, do you see how short this one is? That’s because this is EASY. And oh, so satisfying. Do it! Seriously, just do it!
|Caramel Candy Corn|| |
- 4 quarts popped corn
- 1 cup peanuts (or any nut you like)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup butter
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup candy corn
- 10 each: white, yellow, and orange candy melts (optional)
- Grease a really large pot or bowl. (I use coconut oil.) Put popcorn and nuts in the pot and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Lightly grease a 12x18x2" cake pan - or two 9x12" pans. Set aside.
- Heat oven to 225 F.
- In a large saucepan combine brown sugar, butter, honey, water, and salt over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Drop heat to medium-low. Adjust as necessary to keep mixture gently boiling for 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat.
- Stir in the vanilla and baking soda and pour over the popcorn and nuts. Stir well.
- Scoop into the prepared baking pan(s) and place in the oven. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and stir in the candy corn. Dump out onto a piece of parchment or foil and allow caramel corn to cool completely.
- Melt each color of candy melt separately - either in small dishes in the microwave or by putting candy in small pastry bags or zip-type bags in a glass of hot water. (Don't let water touch the candy or it will seize up.) Drizzle over caramel corn. Let the drizzle harden before storing or serving.
I got this in just under the wire because tomorrow is October and I’m moving on . . . to maple. No pumpkin spice here, folks. We’re going for Maple Madness!