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How to Make Caramel Popcorn

Learn how to make caramel popcorn in this Howcast food video featuring pastry chef Katie Rosenhouse.


Hi. My name is Katie Rosenhouse, and today I'm making one of my favorite things, homemade caramel popcorn.

So I'm starting with a whole stick of butter, and do not worry, I'm making a whole ton of caramel popcorn. If you want to cut back on the butter, you can. It just won't be as delicious. With one stick of butter going in, I'm going to add about a quarter cup of corn syrup, and about a quarter of a pound of brown sugar. I'm using a light brown sugar, but feel free to use dark. It will just add a little extra flavor, and make it a little darker-looking. Then, about two-thirds cup of granulated sugar. Last but not least, a little bit of sea salt. I'm just going to bring this over to the stove, and mix it around until everything melts and combines.

My caramel is nice and smooth. You can see I just whisked it together, and now it really glossy and golden brown from the brown sugar. We didn't really cook it to any stage. We just melted everything together and whisked it until it was nice and smooth and combined.

All I'm going to do now is add in a pinch of baking soda, and what the baking soda is going to do is, as the caramel popcorn bakes in the oven, it's going to puff up and get really nice and crispy. It's going to make a really beautiful caramel popcorn. Let's add an extra pinch just to be safe. And that is it. It should just start to lighten a little bit. You'll see little air pockets start to form, and that's when you know it's perfect.

So, right onto my popcorn. I have a nice big bag of popcorn just ready to go in a bowl. This is just plain, and that's why I added a little bit of sea salt. If you're using a salted popcorn, keep that in mind, and maybe don't add as much salt to your caramel.

I'll just spoon this right over, and I'm just going to mix to combine. I'm just looking to coat all of my popcorn kernels nice and evenly. Beautiful. The more you add, the thicker the layer of caramel. If you like a really light layer of caramel, add less. Or add more popcorn. But if you really like caramel the way I do, just go for it.

That's it. Nicely coated, and right onto a cookie sheet. There's a piece of parchment there just to keep everything clean, so I won't have to scrub away at my cookie sheet later, and so my popcorn won't stick to it. Just move things around so it's a nice even layer. At this point, it's cool enough that you can even use your fingers. Just move everything around.

All I'm going to do is bake this in a very low temperature oven, about 300 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until it's nice and crispy.

My caramel is out of the oven. You can hear how crispy it is. Nice and crunchy. Delicious. Nice and golden brown. It took about 15 to 20 minutes, and oddly enough the best way to tell is just to take a piece out, put it on the counter, taste it, and see if it's crispy. If it is, you take your towel. Go right into a serving bowl. This is the perfect game day snack here.

And that's it. Other options, you could top it off with a little bit of any spice that you like. Or a little extra sea salt. Then you are ready to serve. That's how you make homemade caramel popcorn.

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