Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas caramel corn

Caramel corn holds a very special place in my heart. I know, you're thinking to yourself, doesn't EVERY thing Sher makes hold a "special place" in her heart? The way I rant and rave about food... well, yes, I suppose there's some truth to that. But in this case, it's REALLY extra-super-duper true; there is a particularly sentimental sway that caramel corn holds...

It wasn't rare on a Saturday night during my childhood for my mom and I to make a pan of caramel corn. I associate it mostly with winter evenings, probably even near the holidays? I have enjoyed making it occasionally myself over the years, turning a bit of a blind eye to the butter factor! Also, my sister-in-law Kim and I have been known to plow through one of those rather large-ish bins of popcorn during the holidays, though usually those have the added "benefit" of having a cheese or buttery or chocolate partition. Hmmm. Benefit? Sure...

Well, this year I had been thinking I would haul out the homegrown caramel corn recipes again, and wouldn't it be fun to make it "holiday-ish?" I looked over quite a few recipes and was very pleased to find this recipe via Pinterest for a red and green version. In many recipes I've seen, the red and green effect is arrived at via Jello as the coloring method. While I'm sure that works out great, I just wasn't in the mood for lime and strawberry caramel corn--I want caramel corn that tastes like caramel corn! And I was happy to let good old fashioned food coloring help me out with the holiday-ish aspect...

Caramel Popcorn
slightly adapted from Baked Perfection's version
21 cups airpopped popcorn
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 + 1/8 cup light corn syrup
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
red and green food coloring

Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium saucepan, melt together the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil, sitting frequently. Boil over low heat for five minutes. Remove from heat and add the baking soda and vanilla.

Place half of the popcorn in a 9x13 pan coated with cooking spray. Place the other half in another 9x13 pan coated with cooking spray.

Place half the carmel in a medium bowl and add red food coloring until you reach the desired shade of red. Immediately pour over one pan of popcorn. Toss to coat.

Add green food coloring to the remaining caramel until you reach desired shade of green. Immediately pour over second pan of popcorn. Toss to coat.

Bake for 45 minutes, rotating pans and stirring each pan with a spatula coated with cooking spray every 15 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

So fun, so easy and so pretty! A complete keeper for this holiday, and one I expect to haul out many times in the years to come.


  1. you are the Queen of Caramel Corn! The best i've ever tasted, by far :-)

  2. Oh, we did love that carmel corn...and the next morning we would wake up, moan and vow not to make so much next time or not to make it so often but then one of us would get the urge and off we would go again. Thank you for that memory.


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