Recipe: Holiday Caramel Corn

November 2022


  • 3 quarts popped popcorn (about 2 bags microwave popcorn, popped)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (no substitute)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups mixed nuts


Heat oven to 250º F

Place popped popcorn in a large, 4-inch-deep buttered baking pan, and place it in the oven to keep warm. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a soft boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and quickly stir in the baking soda and vanilla.

Remove popcorn from the oven. After slowly pouring syrup mixture over popcorn, add nuts and mix well. This may prove a bit difficult at first, as the caramel mixture hardens quickly once removed from the heat.

Butter a large cookie sheet and turn the popcorn mixture into the pan. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. You don’t want the popcorn to be overly brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Break apart. Store in tightly covered tins

One word of caution: Be sure to weed out all unpopped kernels so there are no unexpectedly hard bites in this delicious, sweet-salty snack.