Is there anything more satisfying than a giant bowl of popcorn? I don’t care what kind, really – sweet, salty, movie theater, air popped, microwaved – I love ’em all. One particular type, though, will always hold a special place in my heart, and that is caramel corn.
When I was a kid, I loved getting a box of Cracker Jack – no, it doesn’t hold any baseball memories for me or anything like that, though I do remember getting many boxes during my brother’s little league game. (as well as Big League Chew! Who remembers that?! I’m sure that someone by now has banned it since it ‘encourages’ dip. <– insert eyeroll) I just remember really liking it and often choosing it as my snack choice when we went out.
I mean, where can you go wrong with caramel corn? It sweet, salty, soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside, and if you’re eating it while talking to people you can use it as an excuse to not listen to them. Just kidding, don’t do that – that sounds obnoxious and rude. Anyway, when i was thinking of what kind of treats I wanted to make this year for Christmas, for whatever reason my mind strayed from my typical cookie mindset and went to caramel corn. Who wouldn’t want to receive this crunchy delight for the holidays? I just needed to make it a bit more festive.
And that, my friends, if how I ended up making 3 batches of caramel corn topping and one batch of caramel corn in one night.
This recipe/tutorial, whatever you want to call it, is super fun because it’s unexpected. GREEN popcorn?! Yes. Add in some red candies and sprinkles and toss it into a tree-shaped bag and you’ve got yourself a festive winner. It does take some time and patience, but I will say once I stopped burning the sugar it was pretty simple. If you have one, 100% using a candy thermometer,
Also, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE note that working with molten, melted sugar can be very, very, very dangerous if you’re not safe. Like, VERY dangerous. PLEASE use all safety precautions. To be totally honest, I did this well after the kids had gone to bed, just in case.
Okay, enough scaring you, let’s get to the fun stuff!
Make your popcorn – I used this tutorial for green popcorn, but I think I took the sugar a little further than they did. I’m not sure if the stock photo they used is legit, but their version is very light/green and mine is a bit darker and more caramelized, but I think I prefer it that way. A few notes:
When baking, separate onto 2 baking sheets at least, to allow the most room to stir and mix so that the popcorn separates.
Once cooled and separated, mix in 1 cup of red candies – I used M&M’s.
Grab a cone-shaped cellophane bag and drop a gold candy to the bottom as the ‘star’. I used an almond Hershey’s Kiss. Fill the bag about 3/4 of the way with popcorn, making sure the candies are evenly dispersed. Add about .5 teaspoon of sprinkles on top. Secure the bag closed with a twist tie and then use a brown pipe cleaner to wrap around the base and make a tree ‘trunk’. Alternatively, wrap brown washi tape around the base.
Gently shake the bag a big to move the sprinkles around and enjoy!
Okay, so tell me – are you a caramel corn fan? Ever heard of Big League Chew? Would you like this treat in your stocking? Let me know in the comments!