I’ve made a lot of good things in the past sixteen months. Some I’ve liked and some I’ve loved. But this is the most dangerous thing I’ve ever made. I literally could not stop eating it. And that’s why it comes with a warning—this is caramel corn crack.
It is 100% addictive, and I am the first member of the caramel corn crack overeaters anonymous group. And I suspect, once you try this, you’ll be joining me. I know cracker jacks are more synonymous with baseball, but I figured football fans liked popcorn too.
Of course, this is no ordinary popcorn. It’s coated in a lush, rich caramel sauce with plenty of crunchy cashews and almonds. I had to measure out a reasonable serving every day, otherwise I’m pretty sure I would’ve eaten until I was sick. It’s that addictive.
Whether you make this for Super Bowl Sunday or movie night or just because it’s Wednesday—you need to make this. And while I apologize for resorting to peer pressure, I also know you’re looking for an excuse to succumb to my caramel corn crack. I’ll see you at our first group meeting, and I’ll bring the popcorn.
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Recipe from Blue Jean Gourmet
- 8 cups plain popcorn
- 1 cup mixed nuts (I used cashews and almonds)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 6 Tablespoons clear corn syrup
- 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla
- kosher or sea salt
- Combine popcorn & nuts in a large bowl (one that will clean easily). Make sure to throw out any kernels that didn’t pop. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
- Melt the butter then add sugar and corn syrup. Stir until the mixture boils. Turn down heat and continue cooking until it thickens and turns a nice caramel color (10-12 minutes), stir occasionally.
- Remove the caramel mixture from heat and stir in the vanilla with a heat-proof spatula.
- Pour the mixture into the bowl of popcorn & nuts, stirring vigorously until coated (much as you would when making Rice Krispie treats but don’t use your bare hands – this stuff is hot!).
- Spread the popcorn mixture onto your prepared baking sheets and generously sprinkle with salt.
- Let the caramel harden before breaking into clumps. Store for up to a week in an airtight container.
I used one bag of light butter microwaveable popcorn.
My caramel sauce hardened pretty quickly so I had some trouble coating all the popcorn and nuts with the sauce. So I put about a 1/2 cup of the caramel corn into a microwaveable dish and reheated for up to 30 seconds then vigorously stirred everything together. It was a bit time consuming to do this to the entire batch, but was totally worth it.