Chewy Carmel Popcorn

Chewy Caramel PopcornI’ve already established that I love caramel!  I may or may not have mentioned that I love popcorn, as well.  Several weeks ago, I posted a recipe for Crispy Caramel Popcorn, so now it’s time for a little variety.  Sometimes I want my caramel corn crunchy, but sometimes I just want to chew some deliciously buttery, gooey, soft caramel corn.  This recipe absolutely delivers. 

Remember when people used to make popcorn balls?  This recipe would be perfect for that.  I never bother making the balls, but it would be fun for young children.  Butter your hands really well, if you want to do that. … or just eat it by the bowl-full.  That’s what I do.Chewy Caramel Popcorn

Chewy Caramel Popcorn
Serves 16
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. ½ cup popcorn kernels, popped (16 cups)
  2. 1 cup brown sugar
  3. ½ cup butter
  4. ½ cup heavy cream
  5. ¼ cup corn syrup (light or dark)
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  7. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  8. Sea salt for sprinkling on top (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pop the corn, and remove any un-popped kernels.
  2. In a 3 quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  3. Add sugar, cream, corn syrup, and salt.
  4. Bring to a boil, and cook until it reaches the soft-ball stage. (235-240 degrees F.)
  5. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla.
  6. Drizzle over the corn, and stir to coat completely.
  7. Spread out on a clean surface, and sprinkle with sea salt.
Notes
  1. You may want to add 1 cup of nuts right before drizzling the caramel. Peanuts and almonds are especially good.
White Apron Blog http://whiteapronblog.com/
Get your popcorn ready. You'll need ½ cup fresh popcorn kernels (approximately 16 cups of popped corn)

Get your popcorn ready. You’ll need
½ cup fresh popcorn kernels (approximately 16 cups of popped corn)

Have you ever noticed that the popcorn you buy at the movie theater (and even the pre-popped bag that you get on the chips aisle at the grocery store) consists of big fluffy round kernels?  The reason for this is that they use a different variety.  It’s called MUSHROOM POPCORN.  The name has nothing to do with the flavor, so don’t worry.  I think it’s a descriptor of the round shape.

Anyway, this variety pops up wonderfully.  For this post, I popped it in my air popper.  You can get it at amazon.com, in fact, you can click HERE for the link to MUSHROOM POPCORN that I used.  That’s the only brand that I’ve tried, but I’m sure that other brands are great, too.  

Now, let’s get back to the recipe …

Here's a little trick that I use to get rid of any un-popped kernels. Use the two largest mixing bowls that you have. Gently shake the bowl full of popcorn, and tap it on the counter several times. This causes the un-popped kernels to settle to the bottom. Now, use your hands to scoop the popcorn from the top and transfer it to the other (larger) bowl. Keep your fingers slightly spread apart to allow any straggling kernels to fall through.

Here’s a little trick that I use to get rid of any un-popped kernels.
Use the two largest mixing bowls that you have. Gently shake the bowl full of popcorn, and tap it on the counter several times. This causes the un-popped kernels to settle to the bottom. Now, use your hands to scoop the popcorn from the top and transfer it to the other (larger) bowl. Keep your fingers slightly spread apart to allow any straggling kernels to fall through.

Now you'll have a bowl full of beautiful popcorn, and ...

Now you’ll have one bowl full of beautiful popcorn, and …

... this is what will be left in the first bowl. Now your caramel~corn will be safe to dig into without fear of cracking a tooth on one of those nasty kernels.

… this is what will be left in the first bowl.  Throw it away, and now your caramel~corn will be safe to dig into without fear of cracking a tooth on one of those nasty kernels.

Set the popcorn aside until the caramel is ready.

Set the popcorn aside until the caramel is ready.

In a medium-size saucepan, melt over low heat ½ cup butter Increase heat to medium-high, and add 1 cup brown sugar ½ cup heavy cream ¼ cup corn syrup 1/8 teaspoon salt Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

In a medium-size saucepan, melt over low heat
½ cup butter
Increase heat to medium-high, and add
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil and cook until it reaches the firm-ball stage. (240-245 degrees F.) It takes 5-10 minutes, depending on your altitude. Remove from heat.

Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil and cook until it reaches the firm-ball stage. (240-245 degrees F.) It takes 5-10 minutes, depending on your altitude. Remove from heat.

If you don't want to use a thermometer, you can test the caramel by drizzling a small amount into a dish of COLD water.

If you don’t want to use a thermometer, you can test the caramel by drizzling a small amount into a dish of COLD water.

Give the candy about one minute (just long enough to cool completely), then test by forming it into a ball. If it holds it's shape, but is still malleable, it's ready.

Give the candy about one minute (just long enough to cool completely), then test by forming it into a ball. If it holds it’s shape, but is still malleable, it’s ready.

Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir in
1 teaspoon vanilla

Drizzle the caramel all over the popcorn, and stir to coat completely.

Drizzle the caramel all over the popcorn, and stir to coat completely.

Spread it out on clean surface to cool, and ...

Spread it out on a clean surface to cool, and …

... sprinkle with sea salt, if desired. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!

… sprinkle with sea salt, if desired. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!

Now all that's left to do is ...

Now all that’s left to do is …

... dig in and ....

… dig in and ….

... enjoy!

… enjoy!