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How to Make Caramel Corn

Updated February 5, 2019
Caramel Corn
Caramel corn tastes rich and decadent but is surprisingly easy to make your own. Learn these tips and tricks to make this yummy treat for your next party or hangout.

Love the sweet crunch of caramel corn?

Caramel corn tastes rich and decadent but is surprisingly easy to make your own. Whether you are making your first batch ever or looking for a way to make it even more awesome, learn these tips and tricks to keep up your sleeve.

Start With Good Ingredients

To make caramel corn, you essentially need two things: caramel and popcorn. Sounds easy, right? It is. However, if you use the best ingredients, you will churn out the yummiest corn possible.

Choose quality ingredients for the caramel base of your dish. Always opt for real butter over margarine. While margarine might be fine to spread on toast, it is mostly oil and water so it will not give you the same rich, creamy, amazing caramel flavor that you achieve using the real stuff. Pick dark brown sugar over light to really get that warm, heavenly taste. Spending a little extra on name brand fixings, including the sweetened condensed milk, is totally worth it as well.

When it comes to the corn, skip the microwave bags this time. Your best bet is to dust off that hot air popper in the back of your cupboard and make a big light and fluffy batch. Don't have a popper? Pop it in a pan on the stove like Mom used to do. If your bag of kernels has been around for a while, run out and grab a new one. Stale corn doesn't pop as well. You might end up with chewy popcorn loaded with unpopped kernels.

Sift through the popped corn for any stray kernels and toss them. Nobody enjoys biting down on one of those when enjoying otherwise perfect caramel corn.

Dress It Up

Just like you, caramel corn is perfect the way it is. Sometimes, though, we all get in a rut and want to do something a little different. In the same way, you can dress up, spice up and mix up your caramel corn ingredients.

Give your corn a kick. Feeling a little spicy? Toss some cinnamon or cayenne pepper in the mix when coating the corn with caramel. You will love the silky sweetness combined with this fiery boost.

Throw in a couple of handfuls of roasted, lightly salted peanuts before adding the caramel to the corn. You might find yourself looking for a prize at the bottom of your bowl. Make a more grownup version using cashews, sunflower seeds or mixed nuts instead.

Drizzle the mixed, cooled caramel corn with any type of melted candy such as chocolate chips, white chocolate bark or peanut butter chips. Alternatively, toss in chocolate chips, peanut butter candies or mini marshmallows for added texture and taste.

Be warned: caramel corn is simple to make and simply addictive! A large measure of self-control is necessary before attempting any caramel corn recipe.