Peanutty-Caramel Popcorn is one of those small treasure in life and a sweet indulgence that conjures thoughts of parties, game day or movie night. One mention of the word caramel, and I am instantly transported to a delightful state of mind. If there’s one sweet flavor I’m a fanatic about, it’s caramel, and this buttery popcorn really satisfies that craving. You may be one of those people who think of caramel popcorn as a holiday treat but, I make it year-round. Especially, when it’s movie night at our house.
I’ve used all sorts of nuts in the past when I’ve made this popcorn but, I always seem to come back to the classic peanut. Be creative and toss in your favorite nuts to the mix and of course, you can leave out nuts altogether, and still enjoy the crispy coated caramel popcorn all on it’s own. Be it for family movie night, girls night, race day, basketball, football or tailgating, this popcorn is sure to disappear one handful at a time.
You may also like: Chocolate Dipped Popcorn Balls, Brown Butter Cinnamon Popcorn and White Chocolate Popcorn.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Servings 6 Quarts
- 6 quarts lightly salted popped popcorn [24 cups]
- 1 cup party or cocktail peanuts
- 1 1/2 cups butter [3 sticks]
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 250°F. Spray two large, deep roasting pans with butter cooking spray. Divide the popcorn between the baking pans, and sprinkle the peanuts on top. I recommend party or cocktail peanuts, and not the dry roasted for this popcorn]. Remove any loose unpopped kernels.
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, melt together the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and salt.
- Stir constantly until the mixture comes to a boil, then lower the heat. Continue to boil for 5 minutes. Set a timer for this step. There's no need to stir it constantly, however, you should give it a good stir periodically to keep the caramel from sticking to the bottom.
- After 5 minutes, remove from the heat and add the baking soda stirring constantly. The baking soda will cause the mixture to foam, continue to stir until the foam begins to die down. Add 1 1/2 tsp vanilla, stir well.
- Divide the mixture between the two pans of popcorn and stir until coated.
- The popcorn won't all be perfectly coated at this stage.
- Place the pans into the oven and bake for 1 hour stirring at 15 minute intervals.
- Spread the popcorn onto wax paper to cool. Store tightly covered at room temperature.