Homemade Sea Salted Caramel Corn

Sigh.

This weekend I am supposed to be in New York City. Last night, I should have been sipping a cocktail at Grand Central and then heading back for a cozy night of To Catch A Predator (“Why don’t you have a seat?”) with two of my favorite people. Instead, I am stuck in Texas in the middle of an ice storm:

photo (16)

Dislike. If ever there was meaning to my self-given title of “Reluctant Texan”, this is it. How can I possibly live happily in a place where sand is the answer to ice? Where one inch of ice shuts down the entire goings-on of the city? (And yes, I realize that salt trucks would be a frivolous expense as we would only use them once every so often, but I submit to you the pain that was Super Bowl XLV, and remind you that this weather always hits at the worst possible time hence bolstering my case for the trucks. And yes, I realize my argument is slightly illogical, but because I’m stuck in the house and crabby, I am sticking to it. SALT TRUCKS FOR ALL!)

Maybe it was my focus on salt that inspired this endeavor? I can’t be sure. What I do know is that I am now out of maple syrup and it might be quite the issue to replace my supply. Reluctant Texan indeed. (PS. Sorry Paula Deen…over the years, I have adapted your recipe to suit my own needs. Apologies to Grandma Paul…)

Sea Salted Caramel Corn

The Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Popcorn – Unpopped – This will yield 10 cups of popped corn.
  • 6 Tbs. Canola Oil
  • 1 Cup Butter 
  • 2 Cups Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup 100% Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1 Cup Dry Roasted Salted Peanuts (Optional but delish!)
  • 1 Tsp. Baking Soda
  • Regular Table Salt
  • Sea Salt – I use Victoria Gourmet Trapani Sea Salt but regular Kosher salt will do. You want the large granules.

The Tools:

  • Large Heavy Bottom Stock Pot
  • Medium Sauce Pan
  • Large Mixing Bowl 
  • Large Baking Pan – Not a cookie sheet…something with a little more depth.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Wire Whisk
  • Wax Paper

The Action:

  • Pre-heat your oven to 200.
  • In the sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the brown sugar, honey, and maple syrup.
  • Mix the ingredients well and let them bubble while you make the popcorn. Make sure they don’t burn by giving the mixture a stir every so often.
  • Pour the canola oil and popcorn kernels into the stock pot and cover it with a lid. Turn the heat on high. The corn will start popping after a minute or so. Let the corn pop until it slows down and then remove from the heat. Dump it into the large mixing bowl immediately. Sprinkle just a bit of regular table salt onto it while it is warm.
  • Remove the sugar mix from the stove and whisk in the baking soda. The mixture will rise on you. Don’t panic. That’s what is supposed to happen.

photo (14)

  • Measure 10 cups of popped corn from the mixing bowl into your baking pan. Be generous with the popcorn.
  • Sprinkle your peanuts over the popcorn mixture.
  • Dump the caramel mixture over the top and coat the popcorn and nuts.
  • Bake the caramel corn in the oven at for an hour stirring it occasionally.
  • When you remove it, sprinkle the sea salt over the top immediately and then lay the corn onto wax paper to cool.

The result is gooey, sweet and salty. Enjoy!

photo (15)

One comment

  1. Pingback: Cream Soda Apple Cobbler with Caramel Whiskey Sauce | Kitchenpants!

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