Christmas Caramel Popcorn

Christmas Caramel Popcorn | Very Culinary

by Amy on December 10, 2012 · 12 comments

I make popcorn almost every night. Usually 30 minutes after the kids are in bed, being certain they are asleep so we don’t have to share. Yes, we’re mean that way.

The dogs dart into the pantry as I scoop the kernels; then stand by my side, heads cocked, transfixed on the sound of the popping. Pop. Pop. Poppoppoppoppopoppopop! 

Life without popcorn would be a sad life. And none of this brown paper bag, dry, air popped nonsense. No. Popcorn was meant to be made in a pot, with oil. And salt. And butter. So there.

And now I’ve decided it needs to be coated in caramel.

Oh my. THIS.

My whole life I’ve been eating caramel corn, but had no idea how easy it was to make at home. It’s my new favorite snack. I didn’t think anything could be more addictive than the candied pecans, but holy mother. This is a contender.

A couple cups in a cello bag with bow and it’s a perfect little gift for neighbors, teachers, and friends…if you can stop eating it yourself!

(Christmas) Caramel Popcorn
Makes approx. 14 cups
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes

• 1/2 cup popcorn kernels, popped
• 3/4 cup unsalted butter
• 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
• 1/3 cup light corn syrup
• scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• red and green food coloring

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Spray 2, 9×13 pans with cooking spray. Divide the popcorn evenly among the two pans.

In a medium pot, melt together the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. Continue to boil and stir over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla.

Divide the caramel between two medium bowls, add red food coloring to one, green food coloring to the other until you reach the desired shades (I used 10 drops each.) Working very fast, pour one bowl of caramel over one pan of popcorn. Toss to coat. Repeat with the other bowl of caramel and pan of popcorn.

Place pans in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, rotating pans and stirring each pan with a spatula coated with cooking spray every 15 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

(adapted from Baked Perfection)

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The winner of the OXO giveaway is Kim Ludwig, who chose the Pop Star Set. Happy Holidays, Kim! Contact me with your mailing info and get busy organizing!

Leave a Comment

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Persnickety January 4, 2014 at 10:13 pm

A great recipe I can’t wait to try out. I love caramel popcorn!

I have my own brand of Caramel Popcorn I learned from my grandmother. While different from your own, I think recipe is pretty good. I’m new to the Food Blog scene and would love some feedback from a pro like you. Check out my recipe if have time.


Jayne December 11, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Such festive colours! I love caramel popcorn so so much. lately I’ve been making the honey coated one though. Still very caramel-y and yummy.


Dana Smith December 11, 2012 at 8:59 am

My mom always makes caramel corn at Christmastime. She used to put peanuts in it, but only half the family likes it that way, so now she makes on batch with and one without. The last time I tried making it I couldn’t get decent coverage with the caramel, but earlier this week I had her send me the recipe so I can try it again. It is SO addictive!
Funny about your dogs and popcorn…mine gets so excited when I it make it, too. She whines the entire time it’s popping and stalks me while I eat it it.! We don’t have a crumb problem at our house!


Joanne December 10, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Hold up…you expect me to SHARE these with other people? I think these look like something I should keep to myself. For safekeeping.


Stephanie December 10, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Billy’s mom has a small obsession with popcorn, I think she makes it pretty often too. I might have to make this for her as a surprise for the holidays! Helllloooooo brownie points! ;)


Amy December 10, 2012 at 7:00 pm

I would totally love someone if they made this for me. But since I did, I think I’ll just give myself a big hug ;-)


Kim December 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Loving the winning!!! Merry Christmas to me! Thank you!!!


Amy December 10, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Such a great prize! Super congrats to you. Thank you so much for playing and following along :D


pam December 10, 2012 at 8:35 am

I am a huge fan of popcorn too. I’m afraid if I try this, I’ll never stop eating it. It might replace dinner.


Amy December 10, 2012 at 6:59 pm

That would never happen over here *cough*


kristy @ the wicked noodle December 10, 2012 at 7:22 am

This would make such a yummy Christmas gift. And inexpensive, which just means you can give gifts to a lot more people! I loooove popcorn!!


Amy December 10, 2012 at 6:58 pm

Exactly! I made so many batches trying to get the colors right, that several bags are going to teachers, neighbors, and Trevor’s school’s back sale fundraiser. Yay!


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