My husband and I have been wanting to start a new tradition around the Christmas season. Nothing seemed to be ‘it’ until I came across a caramel corn recipe a few weeks ago. I loved the thought of making homemade caramel corn to give to neighbors, friends, and family, so that is exactly what we did! This caramel corn is so wonderfully satisfying. It has a crunch yet a delicate moisture at the same time. I hope this recipe for caramel corn from scratch inspires you to create a tasty treat this holiday season!
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Start by popping the corn kernels on the stovetop in a 5 quart pot.
Follow directions on your kernel package for the best popping efficiency. Transfer the popped corn to large bowls and set aside. You will need to do this step two times to get enough popcorn.
Next, you will need to line each of the baking sheets with tin foil.
Try and get the foil up the sides of the trays as well to avoid any sticking from the caramel.
Then, take a stick of butter and smear it all over the foil.
I would say to apply the butter liberally so that you don’t get sticking corn or caramel.
Now you make the caramel sauce! Start by adding the brown sugar to the 2 quart pan. Then add the cut up butter and corn syrup.
Stir slowly on medium heat.
With a spatula, mix the ingredients together. Once combined, watch for little bubbles to form around the edge.
Once bubbles form, let the caramel boil at a steady rate, without stirring, for 5 minutes.
While you are waiting, spread the popcorn evenly on each baking tray AND pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees. After 5 minutes, remove the saucepan from the heat and add the baking soda and the vanilla.
Stir to incorporate.
Pour the caramel onto the popcorn. Disperse the caramel evenly between the baking trays. Use a spatula to move the caramel around, coating the popcorn.
Continue to move the popcorn around until it is evenly coated with caramel. This process takes a little while so just go slowly and be patient!
Once coated, bake the caramel corn for 15 minutes. While you are waiting, you can whip up the chocolate drizzle. Chocolate Drizzle Directions:
Combine the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and almond extract in a bowl.
Add the milk 1 Tablespoon at a time and mix, continuing until you have a thin frosting like consistency. Then, spoon the chocolate sauce into a large Ziploc bag, like a piping bag, for drizzling the sauce onto the caramel corn.
After the 15 minutes are up, take the trays out. Stir any melted caramel onto the popcorn, then bake again for 5 minutes. Make sure to have hot pads ready for the trays to sit on and then cut a small diagonal hole in the bottom corner of the Ziploc bag.
Place the trays on hot pads. You can sprinkle sea salt over the caramel corn if you like. Then, drizzle the chocolate onto the caramel corn.
Let the caramel corn cool.
To give as a simple gift, simply write a greeting like “Merry Christmas” on a Ziploc bag with a Sharpie, fill with caramel corn, and add a pretty ribbon.
I hope this yummy caramel corn from scratch recipe inspires you to create a tasty holiday treat! You can add your own spin on it too such as adding different mix-ins like M&M’s, crushed up pretzels, or crushed up candy canes. Take time to find joy in the process of baking!
Let me know in the comments below if you would add anything else to this recipe!