Simply Sweet – 3 Ingredient Caramel Popcorn: A Crunchy and Irresistible Snack

caramel popcorn
Prep. time:
25 min
9 dishes

Caramel popcorn is a timeless classic, beloved for its sweet and crunchy goodness. Originating from homemade popcorn recipes passed down through generations, this simple yet indulgent treat has found its way into movie theaters, carnivals, and snack bowls everywhere. With just three basic ingredients, you can create your own batch of caramel popcorn that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Yield and Difficulty:

This recipe yields approximately 8-10 cups of caramel popcorn and takes about 20-30 minutes to prepare. It’s rated as easy, making it suitable for novice cooks and popcorn enthusiasts alike.

Ingredients for making Caramel Popcorn

  • · 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • · 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • · 1 cup brown sugar

How to Make Caramel Popcorn - Step by step Instructions:

  1. Pop the Popcorn: Start by popping the popcorn kernels using your preferred method. You can use an air popper, stovetop, or microwave to pop the kernels until they're fluffy and fully popped. Transfer the popped popcorn to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Prepare the Caramel: In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the unsalted butter. Once the butter is melted, add the brown sugar to the saucepan, stirring continuously until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is smooth and bubbly. This will create a rich and decadent caramel sauce.
  3. Coat the Popcorn: Pour the caramel sauce over the popped popcorn in the mixing bowl, using a spatula or wooden spoon to gently toss and coat the popcorn evenly with the caramel. Be careful as the caramel will be hot.
  4. Bake (Optional): For an extra crispy texture, you can spread the caramel-coated popcorn onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake it in a preheated oven at 250°F (120°C) for 45-60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to ensure even coating and prevent burning.
  5. Cool and Serve: Allow the caramel popcorn to cool completely before serving or storing. Once cooled, break apart any large clusters and transfer the caramel popcorn to an airtight container or resealable bags for storage.

Nutritional Advantages

  • Popcorn is a whole grain snack that provides fiber and essential nutrients.
  • Brown sugar adds sweetness without artificial additives or preservatives.
  • While this treat is delicious, it’s best enjoyed in moderation due to its high sugar and calorie content.

Recipe Alternatives

  • For a dairy-free option, you can substitute vegan butter for unsalted butter.
  • If you prefer a lighter version, you can use coconut oil instead of butter for a slightly different flavor profile.
  • Experiment with different sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup for a unique twist on classic caramel popcorn.

Tips for Enhancing the Recipe

  • Add a sprinkle of sea salt or cinnamon to the caramel sauce for a sweet and salty or spiced flavor.
  • Incorporate chopped nuts or pretzels into the caramel-coated popcorn for added crunch and texture.
  • Store any leftover caramel popcorn in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week, although it’s unlikely to last that long once your friends and family get a taste of this irresistible treat!
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