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Recipe: Easy Homemade Amish Caramel Corn

Audrey loves creating new flavors by tweaking recipes to include healthier ingredients. But everyone deserves a sweet treat now and then!

Why buy store-bought caramel corn when you could make your own?

Why buy store-bought caramel corn when you could make your own?

Caramel Corn Recipe

Craving caramel corn? Try this Christmas candy recipe that you can make in advance, store in an airtight container, and use as part of a gift basket or as a stand-alone gift in decorative tins or pretty bags!

Ingredients:

  • 6-7 quarts (24-28 cups) of freshly popped plain popcorn (I use an air popper)
  • 2 cups dry roasted peanuts
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt if desired
  • 1 cup margarine or butter (2 cubes)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the popcorn in two shallow greased baking pans, jelly roll pans, disposable roasting pans, or even a large roasting pan.
  3. Add the peanuts to the popped corn. Set aside.
  4. Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter or margarine, cream of tartar (if used), and salt in a saucepan.
  5. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring enough to blend.
  6. Once the mixture begins to boil, boil for 5 minutes while stirring constantly.
  7. Remove from the heat. Stir in the baking soda and vanilla—you can beat rather vigorously. The mixture will become light and foamy.
  8. Immediately pour over the popcorn in the pan(s) and stir to coat. (Don't worry at this point too much about getting all the corn and nuts coated.)
  9. Bake for 1 hour. Every 15 minutes, remove the pans from the ovens and give them a good stir.
  10. Line a countertop with waxed paper. Dump the corn out onto the waxed paper and separate the pieces.
  11. Allow to cool completely and then store in airtight containers or resealable bags.

Amaretto Caramel Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • 3 quarts of popped popcorn
  • 1 cup unblanched whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup margarine or butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup Amaretto

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Arrange popcorn on two jelly roll pans; sprinkle almonds over popcorn.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt margarine over low heat; stir in the brown sugar and Amaretto.
  4. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. Pour over popcorn; toss until thoroughly coated.
  6. Bake at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour; spread on foil or wax paper to cool. Store in a loosely covered container.

Chocolate Caramel Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • 5 quarts of popped popcorn
  • 1-1/3 cups brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups butter, divided
  • 2-1/2 cups light corn syrup, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups milk chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).
  2. Coat a large roasting pan with cooking spray.
  3. Place the popcorn in the roasting pan and keep warm in the oven.
  4. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine brown sugar, 1 cup butter, and 1/2 cup corn syrup. Heat, without stirring, to 250 to 265 degrees F or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms a rigid ball. (Suggest using a candy thermometer)
  5. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  6. Pour syrup over popcorn and stir to coat. Return popcorn to oven.
  7. In the same saucepan, combine chocolate chips with the remaining 1/2 cup butter and 2 cups corn syrup.
  8. Cook, stirring, over medium heat, until the chocolate is melted.
  9. Remove from heat and quickly pour over popcorn, stirring to coat.
  10. Return popcorn to the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  11. Remove and pour out onto waxed paper-lined sheets to cool completely.