Everyone knows how easy it is to make popcorn, but did you know that with just a few extra steps you can have homemade butterscotch caramel popcorn?! A delicious combination of caramelized brown sugar, butter, and vanilla is poured over your favorite popcorn, then baked to a crispy and chewy, salty and sweet golden perfection. Plus, it takes just five minutes to make the creamy butterscotch, so the only hard part is having to wait patiently while it cooks in the oven developing its satisfying crunch.
This recipe is one of our favorites, and since it is made from common kitchen ingredients, it can be prepared at a moment’s notice (which happens quite frequently in this household!). It makes a wonderful snack or light dessert, and is a versatile treat for parties, potlucks, or movie nights… but be aware, this caramel corn is so exceptional it may distract from the film.
Caramel corn has become an American classic, even though it is usually dry, stale, and from a box. But with this gourmet recipe, you have the pleasure of experiencing the rich, buttery, and gooey caramel delicacy the best way possible: hot and fresh from the oven.
Butterscotch Caramel Corn
adapted from allrecipes.com
7 cups popped popcorn (see note below)
1/2 cup brown sugar (about 3.5 ounces)
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup unsalted butter
a pinch of salt, or more to taste
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 200°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the popped popcorn in a large bowl and set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Then remove from heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. Pour the caramel over the popcorn, and toss to coat evenly. Spread the caramel corn on the parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake for 45 minutes, stirring and tossing the popcorn every 15 minutes. Then separate any large clumps, and allow to cool completely.
— If using microwave popcorn, simply use one bag of whatever kind you enjoy. If using an air popper, use 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of raw kernels (about 2.3 ounces).
— To make this vegan, simply use a vegan butter substitute.