Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Making More Winter: Honey Caramelcorn

I've been making this caramelcorn and giving it away (and eating plenty myself) every Christmas since I was in high school. It's my all-time favourite Christmas sweet, ranking even higher than the precious See's Candy which is sent to us every year. If I don't ration myself very strictly I can easily polish off a few quarts of this caramelcorn in a single sitting.

The original recipe from Jolly Time Popcorn calls for corn syrup. I think honey tastes better, and lends a comforting illusion of healthiness. Nuts could be added, if desired, to up the protein content and assuage dietary guilt.

Warning: This caramelcorn is highly addictive. Make twice as much as you think you'll need. Packed in jars or canisters, it makes a quite attractive gift.

Single Recipe (Double)  ~ Oven 250┬║

7-8 quarts popped popcorn (15 quarts) in large roasting pan(s)

A single batch can be made in two 9"x13" pans.

Hot-air popcorn works best. I usually pop the corn and make the syrup at the same time, running back and forth between stove and counter. This makes me feel efficient.

Popcorn action shot!

Awaiting their caramel baptism

In heavy pan, combine:

2 sticks or 8 oz. butter (4 sticks or 1 lb.)
2 cups brown sugar (4 cups)
1/2 cup honey (1 cup)
1 teaspoon salt (2 teaspoons)

Honey-sweet and full of butter

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly (or as constantly as you can while popping gallons of popcorn). Let boil for 5 minutes (7 minutes for double batch) without stirring.

Remove from  heat and add:

1/2 teaspoon baking soda (1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon vanilla (2 teaspoons)

Stir well. Mixture will foam.

Soda makes it foam

Pour over popcorn and toss well to coat evenly. (Take your time on this part - the better you stir it now, the less you have to stir it later.)

Silicone spatulas make dandy popcorn tossers

Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. (For even baking, I also rotate the pans from top shelf to bottom with each stirring). The cook is allowed to eat any popcorn that falls out of the pans. After 1 hour, stir once more, then turn out onto clean counter and cool.

Heaps of golden deliciousness

Break up and store in airtight containers. Try not to eat it all yourself.

For more Making Winter ideas, check out the blog hop at Mrs. Thrifty Household. (Does blog hopping burn calories? Let's hope so.)

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  1. This sounds great! I can even smell and taste it!


  2. Wonderful - it looks so delicious - the perfect snack for this time of year. Thanks so much for joining in.

  3. Sounds yummy! Now, off the subject, but the Goatmother, being a hopeless Anglophile like yourself, wondered if you knew about the Kate Kingsbury Pennyfoot Hotel mysteries? The original series is out of print now, but you can find them on Amazon used books, sometimes for a good price - sometimes not so good. But more recently, the author has continued the series with a Holiday one every year. It is set in Edwardian England and features Cecily Sinclair-Baxter, manager (former owner) of the Pennyfoot in Badger's End, by the sea in England. They are wonderful cozy mysteries, if you haven't seen them. The Goatmother gets the new one every Christmas and rereads the old ones! Anyway, just FYI. :)

  4. I doubt I can eat this, but I'm very excited to give the recipe a try with agave because there is someone else in my house who adores popcorn... you may have just filled his stocking!!!

  5. Yum, I reckon we will give that a whirl! Thanks!

  6. What a wonderful recipe - thanks so much for sharing!

  7. thanks! i lost the tutorial i had learned this from a few years back and wanted to share with friends. yours is the same great recipe and a well done tutorial!


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