Ann’s Oven-Baked Caramel Corn

oven-baked caramel corn with chocolate drizzleWARNING:
Do not eat one single piece of this caramel corn
unless you are prepared to indulge in the whole bowl!

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This Oven-Baked Caramel Corn is downright addictive.  If it’s on the counter, I simply cannot leave it alone.  The caramel glaze is utter perfection – not too thick, not too thin – with a wonderful buttery flavor.  And for an extra special treat, especially during the holidays, I like to add a drizzle of dark chocolate.  When I gift a beribboned bag of this chocolate adorned caramel corn, the only complaint I hear is that there wasn’t enough.

It’s really in your best interest to make this when you are expecting company.  Otherwise, seriously, you will be tempted to take care of this all on your own.  You have been warned.

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This caramel corn recipe is the first in a series of easy holiday treats I will be sharing over the next couple of weeks.  Over the past weekend, I shared a presentation titled “Sweet (and easy!) Christmas Gifts from One Day in the Kitchen” with a bunch of lovely ladies.  I showed them some of my favorite treats for gifting at Christmas.  Gifts that are very easily crafted from your own hands.  Gifts that show you’re giving from your heart, and not just your ever draining pocketbook. And gifts that give back to YOU, the kitchen mess-maker, by prompting a special baking day with your children, grandchildren, or friends.

If you haven’t given gifts from your heart and hands in the past, I hope that this little series will tempt you to give it a shot this year.  And if you are already accustomed to gracing your friends, family, kids’ teachers, and coworkers with yummies each Christmas, maybe I will be able to add a recipe or two to your list.  That would just make my day.   :)

Do you give Christmas gifts from the kitchen?

What do you like to gift?

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Ann’s Oven-Baked Caramel Corn

Yield: 6 qts. caramel corn

Ingredients:

  • 5 to 6 qts. popped corn, from 1 c. unpopped corn (I like to use white pop corn – I think it’s prettier!)
  • 1 c. unsalted butter
  • 2 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 c. light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 250°.

Spread freshly popped corn in two large, shallow sheet pans. Place in the oven to keep warm and crisp.

Combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Place on medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Continue to boil to the firm ball stage (248°), about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Syrup will foam.

Take popped corn from oven and pour hot caramel mixture over it, in a fine stream. Stir to mix well. Return to oven for 45 minutes, stirring and scraping up caramel from pan bottom every 15 minutes. Cool and serve or store in an airtight container for up to a week.

My twist on this great recipe…for an extra special treat, as shown in pictures on this post, try drizzling chocolate over the cooled caramel corn while it is still in the pans. Simply melt 4 ounces of chocolate bark and 6 ounces of dark chocolate chips together and drizzle over the caramel corn. This can be altered to your own chocolate preference, I’ve just found this ratio to please both the milk chocolate and dark chocolate lovers in our family. Let the chocolate set completely (can refrigerate briefly to speed up the process) and then break the caramel corn into chunks.

Adapted from the recipe box of my friend Ann Hauer. She got the recipe from a high school Home Ec cookbook.

And…I’ve been adopted!  Yes, I have!  Robyn at Add a Pinch has adopted me, and I’m feeling ever so blessed.  If you want to find out more, please head on over to her site for the info.  I’ve also linked up this here caramel corn as part of Robyn’s Mingle Monday.  So, go on!  Mingle!

   

44 Responses to “Ann’s Oven-Baked Caramel Corn”

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    1

    I am bookmarking this recipe! I have not given gifts like this, because of poor planning. But, this year look so forward to doing so. GREAT idea! Have a super start to your week.

    • farmgirl replied on November 8th, 2010 at 9:27 pm

      Thanks again, Kim. Have fun with gifting this year!

    • lademars replied on June 30th, 2013 at 5:01 pm

      I have been making this popcorn for many years now. I make several batches around the the holidays because everyone loves it. I got my recipe off of the karo syrup bottle. I think this is the best popcorn ever. Way better then the “popcorn factory.”

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    2
    Robyn — November 8, 2010 at 8:25 am

    I LOVE the addition of chocolate to caramel corn! How gorgeous!

    Hope you are having a great Mingle Monday! Talk to you soon!

    • farmgirl replied on November 8th, 2010 at 9:28 pm

      Thanks, Robyn. Just can’t beat that caramel and chocolate together!

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    3
    Melinda — November 8, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Oh. my. This looks really yummy! I’m just wondering how you can ever give any away?!

    • farmgirl replied on November 8th, 2010 at 9:29 pm

      Hello Melinda – thanks for visiting! The secret to having enough to give away is simply to make a double batch. :-)

  4. #
    4
    OneBigMix — November 8, 2010 at 10:32 am

    I’m always looking for homemade gifts to give, as I love gifts with a personal touch. I think I just found what I’m taking my office holiday party!

    • farmgirl replied on November 8th, 2010 at 9:53 pm

      Hello – thanks for stopping by, and enjoy that caramel corn!

  5. #
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    WenDee Riffe — November 8, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    sounds amazing~~mmmmmmmmm!!! i will make this when i am ready to gain about 20lbs!!!!LOL!!!

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    avril — November 8, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    What a treat! I just love that you are going to be offering us even more treats that can be offered as gifts for the holidays…happiness!!!

    • farmgirl replied on November 8th, 2010 at 9:55 pm

      Thanks Avril – stay tuned!

  7. #
    7
    Sara — November 8, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    This is just what I was hoping for! I am starting to plan the holiday gift giving…and this will be perfect! Thanks so much for the great idea! Keep ‘em coming!

    • farmgirl replied on November 8th, 2010 at 9:56 pm

      Will do – thanks Sara!

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    8
    Ashley Pichea — November 8, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    I use a similar recipe, only I make mine in the microwave (super easy, I know). I *love* to make it gourmet… last year I even smashed candy canes on top of melted chocolate chips!

    {Stopping by to say “hi” from Monday Mingle.}

    • farmgirl replied on November 8th, 2010 at 9:57 pm

      Thanks for mingling! Hmmmm…will have to try the candy cane thing…

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    Paula — November 8, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    This is a wonderful Christmas gift to give. Yours looks delicious and the fact that it’s baked in the oven just means that the calories in the chocolate has been fully reduced right?!

    • farmgirl replied on November 8th, 2010 at 10:01 pm

      That’s exactly right, Paula!

  10. #
    10
    MommyTopics.com — November 8, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Wow! I love your blog. Your pictures of food are sooooo beautiful. I love all the backgrounds you’ve chosen to display your goodies!

    I’m visiting from Mingle Monday!

    Blessings
    Rachymommy – MommyTopics.com

    • farmgirl replied on November 8th, 2010 at 10:11 pm

      Thanks for mingling! And for your lovely compliments.

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    Amanda — November 8, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Looks delish! I printed and hope to make this next weekend. I stumbled the post, hope it brings you a few more visitors. ;-)

    • farmgirl replied on November 8th, 2010 at 10:13 pm

      Thank you Amanda!!

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    Sylvie — November 12, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Caramel Corn is part of our food group during the holiday season. But I’ll have to do it with the chocolate. It looks wonderful.

    • farmgirl replied on November 12th, 2010 at 1:21 pm

      Thank you Sylvie! Homemade caramel corn is always a special treat, but the chocolate drizzle really amps up the flavor & fun!

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    Kirsten is Comfortably Domestic — November 13, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Chocolate on caramel corn–of course! It seems perfectly obvious, now. I’ll be trying that for sure! I like to gift homemade truffles or biscotti for Christmas. I have also given homemade Kaluhua. A good friend of mine gifts her homemade Bailey’s every year. I love receiving from the heart gifts!

    • farmgirl replied on November 13th, 2010 at 9:57 am

      Hi Kirsten! Truffles are my ultimate treat!! Now you know what I’ll be craving all day long. Homemade Kahlua & Bailey’s? That sounds fantastic. I know I have an article saved about making that, it’s very intriguing to me. Thank you so much for sharing!

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    14
    Lynda@ Me and My Pink Mixer — November 17, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Oh my gosh ~ I just found your blog & can not seem to leave even though I need to get back to work :) This looks just like the Harry & David Moose Munch that I love, love, love! Can not wait to make this!

    • farmgirl replied on November 17th, 2010 at 11:21 pm

      Hello Lynda – I’m so glad you found me! I’d love to know what you think of the caramel corn.

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    Laura Wifler — November 17, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    I made this the other day and it was FABULOUS! I split it into two batches, one plain and one with chocolate — let me tell you, the chocolate is a must! Everyone raved over both batches, but all agreed that the chocolate made it that much better. I’ll definitely be making these as my Christmas Treat for neighbors. How cute will it be wrapped up in a bag with bow — perfect!

    • farmgirl replied on November 17th, 2010 at 11:31 pm

      Hello Laura – thanks for visiting, it’s great to know more MN bloggers. It seems as though you might like this caramel corn as much as I do!!

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    trish — September 24, 2011 at 10:19 am

    can you tell me what is corn syrup?
    Can i buy it in the UK or similar??

  17. #
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    The Peace Patch — January 28, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    ohgoodgolly this looks sooooo good…perfect treat for the game day crowd! Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  18. #
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    Alice Kolonis — December 23, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Can’t wait to make this!! I was wondering why you mix chocolate and chocolate bark? I haven’t used the bark before.

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    chaha — January 10, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    I also add crisp bacon to the caramel corn for the saltiness. Also homemade Kahlua is awesome as I make it early in the year then when Holidays come I pour into empty kleen root beer bottles with a tag saying Have a Merry Xmas in a GIFT BASKET. How fun is this?????????? Love your recipes they are awesome. TKS

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