Monday, October 24, 2011

Caramel Popcorn

This recipe is probably one of the most often made at our house. At Christmas time we make a bazillion batches of it.
It is the BEST caramel popcorn recipe EVER.
If you don’t agree with’d be wrong.
Why is it the best?
1. It is delicious
2. It is super fast
3. It is super simple
4. There is no need for candy thermometers and all that business
5. It has M&M’s
6. Because I said so
Okay, some of you might have issues with reason #6 (Sue, I am looking in your direction) but I’m sticking with it anyway.
My mother complains about the M&M’s being in it. She prefers plain salted peanuts. (I KNOW! Crazy, right?) So I sometimes just make it with salted peanuts. Sometimes I make it with both (I’m a rebel ...)

Easy Caramel Popcorn

6 quarts popcorn, popped (24 cups) (I use a 2 large microwave bags and 1 mini
microwave bag)
2 cups of peanut M&M's
1 cup butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Spray 2 cookie trays (or roasting pans) with cooking spray. Set aside. 
Place popcorn in a large bowl (And I do mean LARGE! The bigger the better). Sprinkle with M&Ms.

In medium saucepan, mix butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil.
Stirring continuously, boil for 4 minutes. (I count my 4 minutes from the second I see the first bubbles forming at the surface) Remove from heat.
 Stir in baking soda and vanilla. (Do be careful as it foams up quite a bit and the vanilla sputters when you add it!) Stir until well combined and foamy.
Pour over popcorn. Stir gently to evenly coat popcorn.
Spread onto 2 prepared cookie sheets (or roasting pans).
Bake in 225 degree oven for 20 minutes, turning cookie trays halfway and giving them a stir. 
Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Gently stir on cookie sheets every few minutes to keep from sticking in one big clump. The more often you stir, the less it clumps together.
Place in large bowl and enjoy.

One of the great things about this recipe is that you can make it seasonal. For Halloween I only added the brown, yellow, and orange M&Ms. On Valentine’s Day just add pink M&Ms (or red). Easter – well, they have the Easter colors M&Ms. Christmas – Red & Green M&Ms. And so on....
The peanut M&Ms are the best. Plain M&Ms are okay but not as crunchy/tasty. I have used Smarties in a pinch when I realized too late I was out of M&Ms – they were too melty. It worked but it wasn’t as pretty or tasty.
I will attach a warning to this recipe. It is addictive. Once you have a bite you will want more. Seriously. Don’t make it unless you have someone to help you eat it.
**UPDATE** - This is fabulous piled on top of  cake for decoration too:

You can find the recipe for the cake HERE - Caramel Popcorn Cake


  1. We melted the caramel wraps from a caramel apple kit last night and it was a mess. I am so glad you posted this!

  2. Let us know how this recipe works for you :) I know I can never get enough of it!

  3. I don't have any words to appreciate this post.Realy i like Caramel Popcorn.Thank You....

  4. This is awesome - truly! I put in vanilla from Mexico which gave it a really delicious flavor. Thanks!!

  5. I love caramel popcorn. This looks amazing.