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For ever and ever

I have wanted this caramel corn recipe for a very long time.

Which is weird, because I am not, in general, a caramel corn person. No matter where it comes from, it’s usually a little sticky, a little cloying, a little heavy, a little stale. But I’m crazy about this caramel corn. I saw Twilight for the first time last weekend, and basically, I am to this caramel corn as Edward Cullen is to Bella Swan. I’m in love with it. And I am destined to wrestle, for ever and ever, with a violent desire to eat it. (Also, Robert Pattinson! Hellooooo.)

I tasted this caramel corn for the first time about six years ago, when my brother David opened a restaurant called Ceiba, in Washington, DC. The executive pastry chef was also a David, a charming, double-dimpled guy named David Guas, and for the grand opening party, he made caramel corn. I remember very clearly standing in the dining room, just outside the kitchen, when a waiter came through the crowd with a platter covered in small white paper trays, the kind that fries come in at concession stands, or maybe it was actually white paper cones, or maybe I don’t remember that night so well at all, but the trays, or the cones, were filled with caramel corn. It was eerily light, crisp and snappy, sweet-salty, insane. It was this caramel corn.

Most commercial caramel corns, or the specimens I’ve tasted, at least, don’t really taste like caramel. They only taste sweet. This one tasted like true caramel. It tasted like butter and brown sugar and heat - and, crucially, a little bit of salt. It was also studded with salted peanuts. I wanted to ask if he would share the recipe, but I had only met him once or twice, and I didn’t want to seem pushy. My brother told me that they planned to serve the caramel corn as a mignardise, a little sweet something sent out with the check, so I contented myself with the thought that, whenever I ate at Ceiba, a little paper tray of it, or cone of it, would be waiting for me at the end of my meal.

Of course, Ceiba is approximately 2,700 miles from where I live. In the six years since it opened, I have eaten there exactly twice. There has been very little caramel corn in my life. And David Guas, for his part, moved on a couple of years ago, starting his own consulting company and helping restaurants across the country develop dessert menus. I mourned my lost opportunity. In my next life, I vowed, I would be pushier.

But as luck would have it, he has just come out with a cookbook, and in it, on page 154, is the caramel corn. Hellooooo.

If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you may remember that, for four Christmases in a row now, I’ve been trying to give only homemade or handmade gifts. I make and give away tins of cookies and candies, and when I do shop, I buy mainly from artists and crafters, at places like this, or this, or this, or this, or this. It makes me feel good. I also buy books, because I can’t imagine not buying books. But mostly I bake or make candy, and what I’m trying to say is: a couple of weeks ago, I drew up a long list of items to make for this year’s tins, but I cannot bring myself to start making them, because I CANNOT STOP MAKING CARAMEL CORN.

The problem is, it’s easy. And quick. You pop some popcorn, and then you put it into a bowl. You make a caramel, and you cook it to 250 degrees. You quickly dump the hot caramel over the popcorn, and then you fold it in as well as you can, and then you add salted peanuts. Then comes the clincher: you bake it for one hour in a low oven. Not all caramel corn recipes include this step, but I think it’s the deal-sealer. In the oven, the caramel, which had started to harden as you stirred it into the popcorn, gets a chance to soften again. You can now stir it into the popcorn more easily and evenly. The whole, gooey mess will crisp spectacularly as it cools, and the kitchen will smell outrageous, and then you will turn into Edward Cullen. I’m so sorry.

One last thing: don’t be upset if the peanuts don’t seem to want to stay mixed in with the popcorn. Heaven is the handful of caramel-coated peanuts left in the container after the popcorn is gone.

Caramel Corn with Salted Peanuts
Adapted from DamGoodSweet, by David Guas and Raquel Pelzel

A few notes to help you along:

- The original version of this recipe calls for microwave popcorn. I used Newman’s Own brand microwave popcorn in the “natural” flavor. However, I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t use stovetop or air-popped popcorn, if you’d like. You’ll need 10 cups of it, and you’ll probably want to salt it lightly, since almost all microwave popcorns have at least a little bit of added salt.
- Be sure to have a whisk and a rubber spatula close at hand. You’ll need them both on short notice.
- Before you begin cooking the caramel, measure out the baking soda and the vanilla, and chop the peanuts. You won’t have time to do it later.
- Do not try to make this recipe without a candy thermometer.
- If you plan to give this popcorn as a gift, know that it looks very handsome, and keeps nicely, in a Mason jar.

1 (3½-ounce) package plain (unbuttered natural flavor) microwave popcorn, or about 10 cups fresh popcorn popped by any method, lightly salted
1 cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup lightly salted peanuts, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 250°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

If using microwave popcorn, pop the popcorn according to the package instructions. Coat a large mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray, and dump the popcorn into the bowl, taking care to pick out and discard any unpopped kernels.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt, and 2 tablespoons of water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Continue to simmer, whisking often, until the mixture reads 250°F on a candy thermometer, about 3 to 4 minutes. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, and whisk in the baking soda and vanilla. Quickly pour the hot caramel over the popcorn. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the caramel into the popcorn, taking care to distribute it as evenly as you can. Stir in the peanuts, and transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, stirring and turning the popcorn with a spatula every 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and place on a cooling rack for 20 minutes. Gently break up the popcorn, and serve.

Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days (or thereabouts).

Yield: about 10 cups


Anonymous Jacqueline said...

haha oh Molly!
I love the Twilight references in this post! It made me laugh. I don't like popcorn unless it's caramelized... I am going to get on this ASAP. Something tells me it would be the perfect midnight snack...

11:42 PM, December 12, 2009  
Anonymous Liz U. said...

Oh wow! This looks simply amazing. Growing up my Dad would make caramel corn every Sunday night, I have fond memories of it hot, overly sweet goodness. I think I'm going to make this for him for Christmas this year, he will love it! Thank you!

12:14 AM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too have made my list of baked goods for this year - but now THIS happy gem will fast track it to the top. Thank you for the RP photo midway (sigh) it was much appreciated :)

12:15 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger nom. nom. nom. said...

Oh my god yes. Amazing. And your blog dear Molly is the Bella to my Edward, or at least perhaps until I try the camel corn. If anything could unseat you and your clever posts it would be crunchy, salty, sweet nuggets of carmely popcorny goodness.

12:20 AM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous Julie said...

I've been making almost this recipe for years - the low baking (I only do it for half an hour - I'm going to bump it up! bet it makes it crisper and darker) really does make it better. Just went through two double batches at our Christmas party - yum. This time when I made it I kept the salt out of the caramel, and then ground some overtop of the caramel corn while it was still warm, so that the salt stuck to the surface instead. Oh yes.

12:27 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger the lacquer spoon said...

I feel as if the caramelised aroma is coming our of my PC! Somethng rich and sweet soothes us on cold winter days :)

12:41 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger yoyogurl said...

I went to Ceiba for my birthday in September they gave me a box of caramel corn to take home. It was pretty amazing. As was my overall experience there, so please give your brother a high five for me. :D

1:00 AM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This sounds fabulous and I will be making some soon. Is there something special about the microwave popcorn? I'll be air popping since I don't have a microwave but do have an air popper. Just wondering if I missing out on something special.

1:14 AM, December 13, 2009  
OpenID blogresipi.com said...

I will definately try this recipe because I never have corn caramel with salted peanuts before. And I am thinking of eating this caramel corn while watching New Moon. :)

1:56 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger simply blogged said...

This is the same recipe that I have used for years except for the peanuts, it is exact. I got the recipe out of an old community cookbook and loved it. People rave about my Carmel popcorn.....you should have just asked me for it. Nevermind that you dont know me. =]. It is yummy!

2:00 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger lottie said...

this made me smile. caramel corn is such a lovely name, the way it rolls off the tongue. in the uk it would be called toffee popcorn which has none of the romantic charm of yours. also, i watched twilight for the first time last night and, yup, suddenly understand what the fuss is all about!

2:22 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Emily said...

i also had to laugh at the twilight references--you too have succumbed?! about twenty minutes after this was posted i was whipping up a batch. a perfect antidote for this cold, windy, grouchy, sunday morning! we don't have corn syrup here so i substituted wheat syrup and we have a peanut allergy in the family so i used pecans instead. was wonderful, even with the substitutions! thanks!

3:01 AM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great to have you back Molly!

3:32 AM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous shanna murray said...

Thanks friend, for sharing this perfect gift of a recipe!
Can't wait to make and devour the first batch, it looks like heaven. I hope I have the willpower after that to jar it up and give it away!

3:32 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger tara said...

You are so very, very right. The baking step gives a finer, snappier coating of caramel instead of a heavy lacquer of sugar. We make our spiced caramel corn with alarming frequency.

4:17 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Jennifer said...

MOLLY! This looks DANGEROUSLY addictive! Thank you!:)

4:25 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger figtree said...

I love giving food gifts over the holidays...cookies are just not an option. This sounds perfect. Im going to make about 10 pretty jars of this popcorn and sneak them into my friends mailboxes while they are at work. Thanks for the wonderful idea.I just hope they dont complain that I skipped the caramel bark this year....

5:04 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Karen said...

I can't wait to try this. Somewhere all the road from NY to California this summer we picked up a small bag of very expensive caramel corn. It was to die for! So I'll be searching for my candy thermometer and picking up some Newman's corn this week to give this a try.

5:06 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Linda said...

hi molly...what a great post! i am going to get damgoodsweet asap! thanks for the links to those talented people & their creations! i am going to make alot of carmel corn while i read my soon-to-be new cookbook & all your gift giving links!
i would also like to say that "i made that!" is a great blog (having found it when you announced brandi's delancey arrival) & i am certain she is doing extremely well.
all the best now & in 2010!

5:09 AM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous J2Kfm said...

Yeah, although most concession stands at the cinemas do NOT make good popcorns (as we call them), they're still THE ideal snack to go along with a good (or bad) movie.
Agree that most caramel corn taste sweet and nothing else.

5:17 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Mama JJ said...

Molly, This is almost identical to the stuff my plain Mennonite (no longer living) Grandma used to make for Christmas gifts and for the trick-or-treaters at Halloween. And you are right---it is wonderful.

One year my husband and I bought the big tins of commercial popcorn (you know, one section cheese, one caramel, one plain), dumped out the contents, and filled them with the homemade caramel popcorn as Christmas gifts. It was quite the sweet undertaking!

5:32 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Cate said...

yum! the only thing is that i, um, sort of have a caramel corn, kettle korn. so while you're in twilight, i'm in 9 1/2 weeks: i'm kim and the corn is mickey. oy.

5:37 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Eva said...

oh how exciting! Caramel corn is my favorite guilty snack (I'm more likely to stash it in my glove compartment than have it in the cupboard for all to see). I can't WAIT to make this!
I love your blog and thought your book was wonderful!! please keep it coming!

5:43 AM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous Homa said...

Molly this recipe is amazing-- I love caramel corn! I discovered your blog just before you guys started Delancey and it became like my morning cup of coffee so really great to see you writing more now. It's always comforting to know there are other people out there as obsessed with food as I am :) Ever thought of starting a Delancey in London???

5:49 AM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous Laurie said...

"Keeps nicely...store up to 5 days..." seriously, how could you type that with a straight face?

6:03 AM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous Jessica said...

I looooooove caramel corn. Perfect for the holidays! :)

6:06 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger sk said...

Sounds wonderful. We have a holiday party each christmas eve and my tradition is to make at least one of your recipes each year. Last year it was your pickled grapes and chocolate wedding cake and also your danish butter cookies. This year, it's definitely the chocolate cake again (AMAZING) but this is high on the list of possibilities too. I don't have a microwave, but I figure I can just pop about 10 cups of popcorn and use that.

6:13 AM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is so nice to have you back! This looks awesome and Paul Newman's popcorn is going on my grocery shopping list this week!

6:13 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger westminster55 said...

I love this recipe--after years of searching for a caramel corn recipe that would work, I found one similar to the one you posted in David Letterman's mom's cookbook. My favorite tip for making caramel corn comes from Martha Stewart and that is to put the bowl of popped corn in the warm oven while making the caramel and then the caramel spreads over the popped corn more easily.
Loved your book.

6:24 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Lalycairn said...

Lasts for five days in a container? Are you kidding me? Lasts for five minutes before I eat it all, and have to make another batch for the family is more like it. (grin)

Mmmmm. Thanks for sharing.

6:28 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Melanie said...

Hearing you describe this caramel corn made me think of a recipe my mom used to make. And sure enough, it is exactly the same - stir in the soda and vanilla after you pull the sugars off the stove, and bake the whole thing for an hour. Ever since I've been on my own, I've felt incapable of making it, though, because she used her roaster to bake it in the oven and I don't have one. However, if a cookie sheet works, we're in business! Thank you!

6:40 AM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous Arlyn said...

Wow - I can't wait to try this! I too have been craving the "right" caramel corn for a very long time. Thank you!

Question: I'd prefer to put my air popper to use. Do you know what the conversion would be?

6:40 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Sandee said...

I am dying to try this; just trying to decide on the correct wine pairing. I am thinking riesling and caramel corn could be a nice way to spend an evening.

6:44 AM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

looks delicious! does it have to be microwave popcorn for any reason? i don't own a microwave and usually make popcorn on the stovetop.

6:44 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Elodie said...

Oh, I'd take one of these cones please! :)

6:45 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Kate at Serendipity said...

Oh, YESSSS! This sounds like the perfect thing for a chilly night. Thanks for posting it!

6:53 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Melody Stuckey said...

I make a very similar caramel corn recipe (that I also gave as Christmas gifts this year). Delicious! One more tip - you can mix the popcorn and caramel in a brown paper (shopping) bag before pouring onto a baking sheet.

7:07 AM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous emily said...

oh i am so glad you're back here. and i can not wait! to make this popcorn!

7:23 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger smith kaich jones said...

I don't even own a tove - I live vicariously through you and others and let the professionals do the cooking - but this dish may change my mind. Man. It sounds and looks fabulous!


7:30 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger mosey along said...

Caramel popcorn? Check.
Robert Pattinson? Check.
You've hit all the main points for me today.

7:31 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger smith kaich jones said...

Umm, that would be stove. See? I even have trouble spelling it.

:) Debi

7:31 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Mary Ann said...

My mom is obsessed with caramel corn on the same level of teenage girls (and grown women) loving Edward Cullen/R-Patz. I can't wait to stick a jar of this stuff in her stocking this year!

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

7:42 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger gilly said...

SO excited to make this for Christmas gifts! i'm having a homemade holiday too!

7:46 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger nath said...

oooooh, sounds delicious. and dangerous. salty caramel, oh yes. is it silly to ask, you can make it just using regular popping corn though yeah? i don't have a microwave. or a sugar thermometer. i will rectify the thermometer situation asap.

8:01 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

What a great idea for Christmas gifts! I'm doing my homemade chocolate truffles this year and, so far, they have been a big hit.

8:15 AM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous Michaela @ The Gardener's Eden said...

I admit that I have never liked caramel corn, mostly for the same reasons you describe here. But I actually know a number of pop-corn nuts. So I will give this recipe a whirl on their behalf, and based upon your review... I might actually taste as I go.
Why is all the packaged stuff so gross anyway?

8:28 AM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous Amanda Nicole said...

Mmmm, it's a toss up between Edward and caramel corn for sure ;)

I've been making caramel corn for Christmas gifts for the past three years, and I only still do it because people BEG me for it. Specially, my FIL, to whom I gave a comically large container full of the stuff last year, and it was gone within days. Definitely gift-worthy.

8:29 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Katie said...

Hi Molly,
Do you have a recommendation on the type of salt? This looks amazing!

8:43 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger XOXO said...

This sounds like a tasty, TASTY recipe, and I can't wait to try it! I have a question, though: will it work just as well with air-popped or pot-popped popcorn? I've long ago given up on microwave popcorn because of a serious aversion to the flavor of ersatz-butter. Popcorn is popcorn, right? At least as far as this recipe goes.....?

8:47 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Claire Mauksch said...

this looks amazing! i may have to push my holiday gift-making back a little in order to try it :)

8:52 AM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous Kyrie said...

Molly, how much popcorn is that, popped? We don't have a microwave, so I'd be popping stovetop.

I *so* want to taste this!

8:54 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Josie said...

What about using stove-top popcorn? I am seriously icked out by microwave popcorn.

9:08 AM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous Carter @ The Kitchenette said...

Molly, I had no idea you were a Robert Pattinson Appreciator. You've inadvertently joined a select few - you're now a bona fide member of "Food Bloggers Who Also Have a Ridiculous Appreciation for Robert Pattinson."

Other members include myself, Lan from "Angry Asian Creations," and Ellie from "Almost Bourdain."

Your t-shirt and member welcome packet is in the mail.

9:08 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Angry Asian said...

i love your twilight and rpattz reference. that makes you a more-often-read for me.

i also adore caramel popcorn, it's the only popcorn i can dig into. and when my braces come on on wednesday i will make this and not share it. unless it's with rpattz.

9:17 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Shauna from Piece of Cake said...


I thought I had the cookie tin situation all figured out. And now this! Love the idea of putting it in jars.

Could you estimate how many cups of popcorn you ended up with? Isn't it like 10 or so usually? Thinking of maybe making a bigger batch and popping the corn in a dutch oven. Thanks!

9:45 AM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous Margie H. said...

Oh, yum! I usually prefer homemade kettle corn for my sweet-salty popcorn fix, but this sounds good. I've never thought to put caramel corn in the oven, but it makes perfect sense!

My friends will thank you for posting this recipe.

9:53 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger red food colouring said...

yummmmm this looks amazing!! i cant wait to make this when i get home for christmas.

i was sort of sad to see it only lasted 5 days but i have the feeling that will be MORE then enough time for such a tasty snack.

9:53 AM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous Janet said...

Oh, torture! I have braces for one more month! I have grand plans for a caramel corn, caramel apple, and flossing party, though, so this recipe is just in time.

9:59 AM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous Blue Satin Sashes said...

How long do you think this process would take, beginning to end, for someone who has never made caramel before?

10:12 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger eatdrinkonewoman said...

Fab, I just got this cookbook as a birthday present!

Lucky are the ducks who get xmas presents from you, my dear.

10:15 AM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous Marcia said...

OOH! homemade Cracker Jacks...My downfall.You could even add a little prize. This is what we were waiting for Molly..great writing, and great recipes..now, please,no more light fixtures, O.K?

10:32 AM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous Lea Ann said...

I love Caramel Corn and don't have a good recipe. Can't wait to give this a try. Thanks for the post.

10:35 AM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous thedelishdish said...

oh wow this looks great!! ive been to ceiba when i lived in dc & loved it & cant wait to try out the recipe :)

11:01 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger kickpleat said...

The only caramel corn I liked was one we made as kids and I think it came from an old Betty Crocker cookbook. I love the sound of the right amount of salty because caramel corn needs salt. I'll definitely try this out for gifts and for nights when I'm collapsed on the couch.

11:02 AM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made this first thing this morning.

I hope all my friends enjoy getting empty jars that have a note inside that says "I made you caramel corn but I ate it all myself, happy holidays!"

It is INSANELY delicious. I made mine with almonds (peanut allergy).

11:50 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger humble cub & sippy cup said...

one of my favorite things is to sneak a greasy paper bag of freshly made caramel corn into a movie. can't wait to try this recipe! thanks molly!

12:15 PM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous Amber said...

oh yes - Twilight and Caramel Corn? Yum!
p.s. - if you have the time, the books are a million times better...

12:18 PM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous Emily said...

I found almost this exact recipe on another food blog a few weeks ago and have been unable to stop making it. It's so addictive!

And what makes it even better is that you can make the caramel in the microwave, which makes it even faster and you don't have to bother with candy thermometers. I've made it at least 6 or 8 times and it's been perfect every time.

You just microwave the sugar, corn syrup and butter for 30 seconds and stir well. Then put it back in for 2 minutes. It will be bubbling when you take it out, so quickly and carefully stir in the baking soda and vanilla. Then pour it over the popcorn and bake, like you said.

The baking is definitely what makes the caramel corn good. I usually only bake it for 15-20 minutes because I can't wait much longer than that. :)

12:26 PM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger katie said...

My love for popcorn is similar to the love in Twilight!


Love your blog,

New music, food, fitness + giveaway - http://katiechangesforkatie.blogspot.com/

12:32 PM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Kelsey B. said...

After my daughter was born I was so tired all I could manage to read was the Twilight books series. Perfect escape reading. Then came the Robert. Perfect Eye Candy. Then came this caramel corn. Perfect Gift or Snack to munch on while watching Robert on DVR (yes, I'll admit, I do that). I am a strictly homemade gift person too - this year is apricot jam and peppermint bark.

1:07 PM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Jennevieve said...

ooooh, I've been in a caramel corn sort of mood too. You just can't stop with one bite!


3:29 PM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger molly said...

oh man. i'm so making this tomorrow. i thought my obsession was shortbread. i've officially moved on....

3:32 PM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous Shmii said...

To me Edward Cullen is all brooding and conflicted, and caramel popcorn is full of happiness, bounce, and joie de vivre

3:52 PM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Nancy said...

I'm evangelical about do-it-yourself microwave popcorn a la Alton Brown. Put 1/4 - 1/3 cup popcorn in a brown paper lunch bag, fold the top over twice, and close with two (no more, no less) staples. It cooks in a little over two minutes in my microwave. I usually swirl it in a bowl with some olive oil and garlic Tabasco and sprinkle with yeast flakes, but caramel may be in order.

4:11 PM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous Michelle said...

We can always count on you to deliver what we all need just when we need it. Thank you for this recipe!

I'm so going for it - except I think I will try replacing the corn syrup with honey or maple syrup!

6:15 PM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Amy A said...

dude. i make caramel corn every year. and if you think this recipe is amazing. (sounds awesome and i'm def. trying it) i have one piece of advice. try it with fresh popcorn. seriously. buy a little bag of popcorn kernels, put a little oil in a pan and your caramel corn with thank you! :)

6:19 PM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger ~L~ said...

Yummm I heart Carmel Corn.

6:58 PM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Molly said...

Hi, all -

To those who wonder about using air-popped or stovetop popcorn: yes, no problem! You don't have to use microwave popcorn. I'm guessing that the recipe was written to use microwave popcorn because that's what a lot of people consider the most convenient, but if you want to make your own, do it! You'll need to make 10 cups, and you should probably salt it lightly before using it in the recipe, since most microwave popcorns (or, at least, the brand I used) are lightly salted.

Katie, I used regular table salt. You could try using a fancier type, but I think the flavor might get lost here.

Blue Satin Sashes, it's a pretty quick process. Allow 5 or 10 minutes to measure everything out and pop the corn, and then making the caramel itself is quick - maybe 5 minutes? Then you'll take a few minutes to stir it into the popcorn, and then it bakes for 1 hour. So, less than an hour and a half in all, and a lot of that is just oven time, when you don't have to do anything.

6:59 PM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Kelly said...

Ohhhh my goodness - new to reading your blog, but saw this post and knew I had to make this popcorn TONIGHT. My batch is in the oven now but the nibbles I've been taking are simply OUT OF THIS WORLD!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing - I know now why you can't make anything else!

8:34 PM, December 13, 2009  
OpenID arugulove said...

I didn't realize your brother cooked at Ceiba. Loved that restaurant when I lived in DC. I'm so excited to have the recipe for this!

8:37 PM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous andeejo said...

so glad you ok'd the non-microwaved popcorn... so many weird additives... and someone asked why the commercial caramel corn is so nasty- they use tons of high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors so it keeps for months since it's all fake stuff... this recipe actually uses the flavors they try to replicate... sounds delicious and hopefully i'll like caramel corn now! did anyone try this with honey or another syrup besides corn? just wondering :) thanks molly, SO glad to have you back :)

10:29 PM, December 13, 2009  
Anonymous Sarah Jio said...

Yum! Caramel corn is so comforting, isn't it? Or maybe it's the caramel that's comforting? I found myself having a piece the other day (box from Trader Joe's!). Good to see you back on the blog! I can't believe I haven't visited Delancey yet. I'm blaming my kids for that. xoxo, Sarah

11:04 PM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger beth said...

My grandmother used to make this exact caramel corn recipe at Christmas every year. She called it cracker jack and used Spanish peanuts - it was fabulous! Spanish peanuts were all she could find in Iowa in the 1920's and they worked. Thanks for the recipe and bringing back the memories!

11:25 PM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Sook said...

I was wanting to make some of these yesterday too! I just didn't have a good recipe for it. Now I do. Thanks!

1:33 AM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Mari said...

Sweet mother of god...I can't wait to sit around eating this in my pj's on Xmas Eve! Thanks for sharing!

3:14 AM, December 14, 2009  
Anonymous Indian Takeaway said...

Wow just tried this recipe and even though I'm not a big fan of caramel this stuff is so moreish. Thanks for the recipe. This one's a keeper.

5:51 AM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Kate Spanke said...

We make caramel corn every year at Christmastime and I'm so happy to see how many people also love this tradition!!! Thanks Molly!

6:27 AM, December 14, 2009  
Anonymous Katie Jones said...

Oh my goodness...Since reading your book and seeing your blog I can't stop making things that you post! I have made peppermint bark already and plan to make the caramel corn to give out as gifts as well. I think you have to stop posting such wonderful things until after the holidays...I will be giving out tons of food and won't leave the kitchen!! Thank you for the creative and amazing holiday gift ideas!

6:45 AM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Hoperu said...

I just made caramel corn this weekend. I too make it all Christmas season. The recipe I use is from an Amish and Mennonite cookbook that I have had since I was in grade school. The only major difference is the addition of peanuts. I will have to give that a try! Yum yum.

6:55 AM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger J Auclair said...

I have also been making this for years, without a thermometer--just boil the caramel for two minutes exactly. (And using regular popcorn popped in the microwave in a paper bag.) I may try adding the salt, though; it sounds good. I've also seen a recipe recently for a version with chocolate, which I intend to try.

7:00 AM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger J Auclair said...

Oh, and I have a huge metal salad bowl that just fits in my oven if I move the racks around, and it's easier to stir it in that while it's baking.

7:02 AM, December 14, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Molly- I have been reading your book/blog and I wanted to say thank-you. Pretty much every day is fairly exhausting with work and two small kids, and it is a little treat to read a chapter or two of your book before bed. I get to remember the excitement of first going abroad and trying all those new foods (I had never even had basil before I lived in Italy- it was a revelation), first love, getting engaged, all that you write about. And it is funny how much your restaurant sounds like my life with the kids: lots of cooking, cleaning until the late hours, and being inordinately proud of something like a cleaned plate that your friends can't relate to. I also thought I would send you this recipe, because it (kind of unbelievaby) is my 1 and 3 yr old's favorite and I know your husband is a vegetarian:

Tofu casserole
1 onion chopped
1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 package firm tofu, diced into cubes
1 yelow squash, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
20 shakes dried basil
20 shakes dried oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
12-16 oz canned diced tomato
2 cups wild rice blend
1 block gryyere, shredded
2tbs olive oil

Sautee the garlice, onions and squash in the oil until soft. Add the tomato, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper and simmer 5 mins. Then add in the spinach, rice, 2/3 of the cheese, and the tofu. Bake on 350 for 30 mins. Then top with the rest of the cheese. Enjoy.

7:50 AM, December 14, 2009  
Anonymous Jen@Tiny Urban Kitchen said...

Thanks so much for sharing! I've never atempted caramel corn before (just kettle corn - heh, the healthier cousin), but this looks fantastic!

8:33 AM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Janet said...

Hi Molly, it sounds so good. Haven't had caramel corn in a long time. Mmmmm!

8:39 AM, December 14, 2009  
Anonymous cookeaze said...

A glorious dish! This combo is mouthwatering!Thanks for your talent.

9:11 AM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Anne Zimmerman said...

I was never fond of caramel as a kid, but as an adult -- hello? Is there anything better? This sounds like a great & fun holiday gift. Not that x-mas cookies aren't exciting, but...

9:20 AM, December 14, 2009  
Anonymous Sharmila said...

Now you've gone and done it! I'm not such a caramel popcorn fan but you went and compared this one to Edward Cullen. The movies, the writing in the books and Bella make me cringe but if there's anything I thank Stephanie Meyer for, it is putting the wonderful Edward Cullen to paper, thereby allowing gorgeous Robert Pattinson to play Edward. I now have to try this recipe. Humans do not have the will to resist.
Two more things about your lovely (as always) post...I'm surprised more batters for Team Jacob aren't blasting down the ramparts. Also, extra kudos for introducing the wonder of cooking to slews of teenage girls. Because you know this post is going to show up on their Twi-dar!

9:45 AM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger red ticking said...

molly...soooo excited to try this... and i am coming to delancy this week... it is ridiculous it has taken me this long to come...i have heard so many wonderful things about your lovely restaurant... i cannot wait! wish i could see you and hope to meet up with you when you are there at some point... maybe you can come to red ticking??? love your book and giving it as gifts this christmas...x pam

10:28 AM, December 14, 2009  
Anonymous Sabra said...

Can't wait to try this! And I loved the Twilight references since I am in the middle of the third book of the series!

10:53 AM, December 14, 2009  
Anonymous Liz B said...

I completely agree with everything you have just written including, not in ranking order!

- Edward from Twilight mmmmm
- popcorn (or pipocas as it is in Portuguese, sounds so great doesnt it?!)
- Peanut butter/caramel
- Peanuts/caramel IN popcorn!!

I tried my first popcorn recipe from 101 cookbooks, the other week, it is a show stopper too!! And takes like 10 mins and then cooling time on baking trays... if you can wait!
It is so yummy and next time i will be adding peanuts to it, and trying this recipe!

Glad your back! :) xx

11:06 AM, December 14, 2009  
Anonymous The Leftoverist said...

Let the caramel corn mania begin! (I've been resisting the Twilight mania, but maybe that's futile?)

11:13 AM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Shauna said...

I heart this caramel corn already, because of the photos, and you. You! You're back to writing. Thank god.

Now, I never ever expected to see a Twilight reference from you. That might make me see the silly thing at some point.

Mostly, though, I just wanted to say that I'm glad our old microwave is being put to such good use! xo

11:32 AM, December 14, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made this today and it was very good. But next time I am going to use sliced almonds. The chopped peanuts wouldn't stick and I didn't care for the flavor they gave the popcorn. Thanks for the recipe. I'll be making it again.

12:02 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Michael Natkin said...

Oh, nice. A review copy of Dam Good Sweet just arrived, and now your bit of backstory to it makes me want to move it up the pile :). Glad to have met you the other night!

12:10 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Megan said...

I hear, hear the popcorn in a brown lunch bag. I eat popcorn regularly for dinner (I know...), so I feel my opinion is that of an expert.

1:38 PM, December 14, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One winter, we made pounds of caramel corn with peanuts; I gained 10lbs and haven't touched the stuff since! I sound like an ex addict...
But dang, caramel corn is good.

2:07 PM, December 14, 2009  
Anonymous Hallie said...

I could read your blog "for ever and ever," Molly! My mom loves caramel corn...and I can't wait to surprise her with this recipe at Christmas.

I was inspired to hear that you are making all handmade gifts this year (and have in years past), because I'm doing the same thing. It's so much more gratifying to give something you've put your heart and soul into, isn't it?

(Oh, one more thing. I am very much like you in that, while I love to give handmade gifts, I will never stop buying books!)

4:35 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Megan said...

Oh Molly.

I had the worst of all Monday mornings (including sick pets, early conference calls and crap lousy weather), but your post made it all better.

Welcome back.
You've been missed!

5:35 PM, December 14, 2009  
Anonymous Lisa said...

You're back, Molly! How I missed your humor and adorable writing style over these past few months. That caramel corn looks awesome.

5:40 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Michelle said...

Wow! As soon as I saw the pic, before I even read the post, I thought, here's something to make for Christmas. Thanks! Well, thanks for now - as I probably won't be thanking you after I gain ten pounds from eating this. Glad to see you are back.

7:16 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Laura said...


So glad you're back. Recipe sounds gorgeous. I had my first ever Molly recipe moments this weekend, making scottish scones. We put strawberries (frozen) and orange zest in them. Delicious! And easy. Thank you! I adore your writing.

7:26 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Bellini Valli said...

I think what grabs me most is the addition of salted peanuts to get that sweet/salty taste I love so much!!!

9:54 PM, December 14, 2009  
Anonymous lesbo-kitchen said...

Hi Molly, I have a question. In my experience, sugar isn't caramelized at 250 degrees. Usually, I need to take the sugar above 300 when I'm making caramel corn.

Since the oven temp is only 250, I don't imagine that the caramelization is going after it has been applied to the popcorn, so - ? I'm stumped. Does your caramel really taste like caramel once it has reached 250 degrees? At that temperature I would have nothing more than a simmering pot of barely blond sugar syrup.

10:00 PM, December 14, 2009  
Anonymous Amy said...

I just finished making a batch, and I don't think it's going to make it off the cookie sheet. Amazing!

One thing: I started the caramel as the popcorn was popping -- and burned the popcorn. So I had to start a new bag, and rushed to get the caramel on the popcorn ... and forgot to pick out the unpopped kernels. Microwave popcorn has a LOT of unpopped kernels. So, people, be sure you have your popcorn popped and de-kerneled beforehand.

11:15 PM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger Lori said...

always so good to find a posting from you when i turn on my computer....thanks for the yummy recipe, i've used peanuts in caramel corn before, but never with a rough chop...can't wait to make some tonight. thanks also for the gifting idea.....merry christmas to you and yours!

3:05 AM, December 15, 2009  
Anonymous Carmella said...

Molly's back!! What a fun find to be able to 'see' you again this morning, and could you have chosen a better recipe to share? I think not! Caramel corn was on my list of things to make, but I didn't have a winner of a recipe, so THANK YOU! I know this is going to be fab! (And thank you to the David who included it in his recent cookbook!) Yes, and the paper cones sound like just the way to present this yummy-ness.

Oh, also, just thought I'd share that Whirly-pop stove-top popcorn poppers are the best! All kernels get popped, and using bulk popping corn is less expensive when you're making a lot.

5:59 AM, December 15, 2009  
Blogger katie said...

after i read this post, i hustled over to whole foods after work, bought some popcorn and made this. it is AMAZING. totally edward-and-bella-esque. and i don't even like twilight.

6:26 AM, December 15, 2009  
Blogger paperhill said...

i have yet to see New Moon, i rarely get to the movies but i'm with you on the Edward thing! the caramel corn looks wonderful, i'm off to buy what i need today. i too love a homemade/handmade gift and have a bunch of homemade things lined up to give! have a wonderful Christmas!

6:42 AM, December 15, 2009  
Blogger Lisa G. said...

Yeah! You're back and I'm very glad!

7:25 AM, December 15, 2009  
Blogger MsJess said...

A bummer they did not serve this when you had your book reading at ceiba (that was my only time I went) Although you did serve pink cookies and aunt bill's candy so I that placates me somewhat! I can completly support your assertion taht candy thermometers are crucial. I tried making it with just a meat thermometer (please don't laugh) and that resulted in a black nasty mess.

I ended up taking your homemade philosophy to heart and have made over a dozen batches of the leite chocolate chip (with hawaiian pink salt! Omgsogood) peanut butter cookies, my godmother's raspberry bars and your chocolate rads for some lucky friends family, classmates and college professors. I've worked through a 16 pack of costco butter and about 5 pounds of sugar. Whew!

9:23 AM, December 15, 2009  
Anonymous Tami said...

Ahhh, You're back. This makes me very, very happy!! I'm going to make caramel corn this weekend for sure.

10:49 AM, December 15, 2009  
Blogger meridith said...

we tried your recipe last night and it is truly delish! next time i would leave out the peanuts (not a big fan of them to begin with) but otherwise - wonderful.

10:57 AM, December 15, 2009  
OpenID sarahlambersky said...

I just tried making caramel popcorn for the first time last week and ended up throwing it out. I was not using a thermometer and was eyeballing the colour of the caramel instead. The recipe said "light brown" which is very subjective. End result, the caramel was still granular after 20 minutes of bubbling on high heat. If your recipe is as good as you say it is, I'm willing to give it another shot! Thanks

12:20 PM, December 15, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful! It's delicious.

12:45 PM, December 15, 2009  
Blogger Leslie Gelber said...

So glad you are back in the writing saddle, and with treats too! Ten jars sit packed with your most delicious recipe. Thanks for the tips too, brilliant!

1:53 PM, December 15, 2009  
Blogger L Vanel said...


2:49 PM, December 15, 2009  
Blogger KT said...


4:05 PM, December 15, 2009  
Anonymous Willi said...

Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I grew my own popcorn in my garden this year. I know it's silly, but it feels really special, so we've only been eating it with fancy butter and salt, but this recipe sounds deserving of our homegrown popcorn!

8:24 PM, December 15, 2009  
Anonymous small house plans said...

This is something new for me! Thanks for sharing! This is for my DVD marathons every weekend. I am going to make a lot!

1:36 AM, December 16, 2009  
Blogger Wright Creative said...

As you can see from all these comments: We are soooo glad to have you back!! You are a gifted writer and I am so sure that you have made the right decision. Oh... and I totally dig Robert Pattison too (Helloooooo!!!)Not that much into popcorn though...its more of a US thing, I think (me: based in UK, but with german roots). Love your book!!!

6:24 AM, December 16, 2009  
Anonymous Katie Jones said...

I made the caramel popcorn last night...it is so light and delicious AND it makes the whole house smell sweet :) You rock...keep 'em coming!

6:35 AM, December 16, 2009  
Blogger STAY AT HOME CHEF said...

I am VERY excited to try this recipe! My husband and I consider ourselves to be popcorn connoisseurs. Our favourite recipe when we're feeling that sweet and salty craving is for Chef Michael Smith's Butterscotch Popcorn...delicious!

9:00 AM, December 16, 2009  
Blogger Jes said...

Molly, I'm so glad you're back. My daily/weekly blog reading feels more complete now; fleshy again. I'm very happy for the restaurant too. I look forward to popping in sometime should I travel up northwest again.
For now, I'll happily follow you from down here in the southwest. :)

9:27 AM, December 16, 2009  
Anonymous Fran said...

I feel a bit of a putz posting scary warnings, but the commercial microwave popcorn is maybe not so much: http://www.prevention.com/7foodsthatshouldnever/list/3.shtml

AND you can DIY so cheap:


Can't wait to try this recipe. Happy to see you again Molly :>

10:33 AM, December 16, 2009  
Blogger Shelly said...

holy moly, I made this popcorn last night for teachers' gifts. I'm ashamed to say that I have to make another batch today. :)

12:47 PM, December 16, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made it last night-sans the peanuts, but OH so good. Making it again next week for gifts and with nuts!!

1:39 PM, December 16, 2009  
Blogger The McAuleys said...

Ha--I think your notes should include to have all the jars lined up and ready to go when the popcorn cools, otherwise it will have been eaten before it can be packaged. I think there is about a cup left of ours in the cookie sheet sitting on the stovetop. Rats--guess we'll have to make another batch! :) I never would have made caramel popcorn without this recipe (and the Robert Pattinson references), thanks so much!

2:42 PM, December 16, 2009  
Anonymous Ashley said...

Salty, sweet perfection.

4:31 PM, December 16, 2009  
Anonymous Heidi said...

This looks great Molly - I can't wait to try it out!

I too try to keep my Christmas gifts homemade (with the exception of books and movies). I feel like homemade/handmade gifts are so much more personal, plus they're easier on the pocketbook!

6:30 PM, December 16, 2009  
Anonymous Kimberly said...

This looks awesome and amazing. It actually kinda makes me miss Cracker Jacks, as crazy as that sounds, and I haven't had those in eons. I must say, I read your blog because I love the lovely writing, but I haven't yet tried any of the recipes. But that doesn't mean I don't love reading them, studying them, and salivating over them! It's all very edifying. :)
Sooooo glad you're back!

7:30 PM, December 16, 2009  
OpenID nightowlchef said...

This looks like the perfect movie snack food ... while watching Twilight AND New Moon....

For laughs, when Eclipse comes out I think I'll make some of this to sneak into the movie theater for my girlfriends and I. Thanks, Molly!

8:04 PM, December 16, 2009  
Blogger Shandy said...

YUM! This is turning out so good--some of it didn't make it into the oven!

8:47 PM, December 16, 2009  
Blogger fromBAtoParis said...

It is snowing in Paris. My daughter has invited ( girls home...Your Popcorn !!!!!! Thanks for the recipe and inspiration...I started my blog yesterday...I love the way you write !

11:15 PM, December 16, 2009  
Anonymous tobias cooks! said...

I love this one. Thanks for sharing

11:53 PM, December 16, 2009  
Blogger Chef E said...

I feel as though I will be lost in a sea of comments, but your site is breathtaking... Makes me want to open my own place again... I love caramel corn, so I will pretend to eat it as I view your archives as if I am in a foreign cinema watching my favorite subtitled flick...

2:57 AM, December 17, 2009  
Anonymous Sheila said...

If making big batches to be used for gifts, why not pop the corn in a covered pan on the stovetop? Save a lot of $$$ and could not be easier. Stove, pan, oil (not olive), popcorn, lid, med. high heat - nothing to it. Also, popcorn can be popped in the microwave in a brown paper lunch-size bag. with or without oil. just cover the bottom end of the bag with a layer of popcorn, add a little oil (if you desire), fold down top an inch or two, lay bag on its side on a microwavable plate and microwave for about 2 min or so. Basic, basic food.

4:45 AM, December 17, 2009  
Blogger The Golden Piglet said...

I have been needing a caramel corn recipe. Now I'm sure I have the best one I can find anywhere.

11:03 AM, December 17, 2009  
Blogger Cabin Creek Farm ♥ said...

Ooh la la this sounds yummy! I think my 3 daughters will enjoy it as much as I will!! ☺ Thank you for sharing it and for menioning your brothers restaurant. I clicked on the link and bookmarked it. We live in Va and although we do not get into the city as much as we would like this is on my list to do. The menu sounds incredible.

11:28 AM, December 17, 2009  
Blogger Marilyn said...

Molly - Just wanted to say thank you, happy holidays & The Hubster got me your book for Christmas. Smart men get rewarded!

12:26 PM, December 17, 2009  
Anonymous Linda R. said...

Just found your blog yesterday, and absolutely love it! I made the caramel corn last night and it is INSANELY delicious! It's what I munched on for breakfast this morning -- maybe not the healthiest breakfast, but it certainly was yummy. Looks like I'll be making another batch tonight so I have enough to take to the Boat Parade!

3:45 PM, December 17, 2009  
Blogger Christy said...

I made this tonight and we scarfed 2/3 in one sitting! so good.

10:50 PM, December 17, 2009  
Blogger Heide said...

Oh lordy. This looks so good, it's all I can do to not chew on my monitor. Must make some STAT! Have a baby shower this weekend, this would make cute little favors. Or maybe I'll just eat it all myself and give those broads some rubber ducks!

5:50 AM, December 18, 2009  
Anonymous Dirk L. Archibold Chester said...

I like the idea of the sweet and the salty flavours; I don't know if I could eat it constantly, however. That would be more of an American thing.

Dirk L. Archibold Chester
Food Lovers Heaven

6:44 AM, December 18, 2009  
Anonymous Laura D said...

I also add 1/2 t of almond extract to my caramel. Gives it just a little something extra.

11:13 AM, December 18, 2009  
Blogger hannah | honey & jam said...

The twilight references cracked me up! I absolutely love caramel corn, this looks amazing!

2:08 PM, December 18, 2009  
Blogger violet said...

Made this last night to bring in to share with my coworkers: http://orangeviolet.blogspot.com/2009/12/caramel-corn-by-violet.html

It's a big hit. Thanks for the tip!

2:43 PM, December 18, 2009  
Blogger Michelle said...

Early this fall, my daughter was craving caramel corn, so we browsed a bunch of recipes, chose one, made a big-o batch, and then proceeded to make ourselves sick eating every last kernel. Like a bad drunk, we promised never to do that again. Way too sticky sweet. But then you posted this recipe, and I had to try ... Needless to say, I owe you a big thanks Molly. You've turned us back on to caramel corn. This recipe is fantastic! All my relatives and friends are getting this for Christmas. Thanks!

7:06 PM, December 18, 2009  
Anonymous diana fayt said...

Molly--I just made this recipe and after consuming a bowl of it I've decided this recipe should be aptly called...CRACK-er Jacks. Can't. Stop. Eating. It. xo

8:08 PM, December 18, 2009  
Blogger Impromptu Diva said...

this is the answer to my quest on what to give to my family and friends this christmas... i just have to buy my candy thermometer... thanks for posting!

9:32 PM, December 18, 2009  
Anonymous Jill said...

Molly I loved your article in this month's Bon Appetit. Friends send us a Smithfield ham every year for Christmas and I can't wait to make the sweet potato biscuits to serve with the ham. Merry Christmas!

9:04 AM, December 19, 2009  
Blogger Jen said...

I just made a triple batch of this heavenly goodness for a Christmas party. Would it be wrong of me to cancel the party and eat it all myself? Perfection!!!

11:07 AM, December 19, 2009  
Anonymous Nurturing Wisdom said...

Hi, Molly!

What a recipe. It reminds me of my childhood-days full of Cracker Jacks with a prize to boot after devouring the caramel popcorn and peanuts.

I'm going to share my childhood by making a few batches of these with my family during Christmas.

Thank you for the recipe.

3:42 PM, December 19, 2009  
Anonymous RD said...

I made it today--perfect. Gave it to some friends as a Christmas gift and they ate it immediately. Way to go!

8:50 PM, December 19, 2009  
Anonymous Linda said...

I've made this twice now. Both times the caramel got too dark and the bottom blackened, despite frequent turning. I'm going to have to cut the oven time in half. Anyone else have this experience?

4:47 AM, December 20, 2009  
Blogger Kathryn said...

Made it. Loved it. Boyfriend said, BEST RECIPE EVER. So thank you Molly! Kathryn

9:50 AM, December 20, 2009  
Anonymous Meadow said...

I devoured your book last week while taking a class on traditional Mexican cooking in Puebla. Thank you so much!

10:09 AM, December 20, 2009  
Blogger Molly said...

lesbo-kitchen, I promise, the caramel does taste like caramel! And you really do only have to take it to 250 degrees. It'll be roughly the color of peanut butter, and then baking darkens it a little bit more.

Linda, that's so frustrating! I'm not sure exactly what to tell you, but is there any chance that your oven could be running hot? I keep a thermometer in mine, and it's been running pretty accurate lately, and I haven't had my caramel come even close to burning.

8:16 PM, December 20, 2009  
Anonymous Greg Kopp said...

You have a very clean looking blog! love how it is setup!

9:07 PM, December 20, 2009  
Anonymous kms said...

i'm not a HUGE caramel corn fan either, but you've convinced me to give it a try with this one.

12:20 AM, December 21, 2009  
Blogger alagorce said...

I made this over the weekend to bring to a Secret Santa party. Put it all in a big transparent jar with a pop corn bowl attached. It was a BIG success. And Molly I know you said not to try the recipe without a candy thermometer but I was desperate and found that it worked out anyway. I timed my caramel as per you indications (3-4 minutes). It was really delicious and SO easy. Definitely a keeper.

4:38 AM, December 21, 2009  
Blogger claire said...

uh-oh. nathan is going to freak out.

11:25 AM, December 21, 2009  
Anonymous Pola said...

Hello there Molly,
yesterday I tried to post a comment but it must have gone wrong...oh well, I shall try again.

Firstly I wanted to say we made your killer delish tomato and cilantro soup and have become converts. It goes very well as a light alternative when the festive fair is getting one down, so thanks very much for that. My mother made it actually, as she is here for a visit and is master cook and recipe tester in our house! She did add some fresh peeled and seeded toms too as she found some goodies...

Also having sussed you out for an expert in jam matters I was trying to elicit some advice about what to do with the peel of oranges when making marmalade. I think I am very much inclined to follow your recipe for Italian jam as it sounds just right, but what do you think about the peel?

I know this a bit off the caramel corn topic, but feeling that we have some affinity in terms of sweet tart flavours I had a feeling you might have a hint for me.

In my try of yesterday I also wanted to wish you all the best for the holidays, I hope you and yours are getting a well deserved break. Baci Pola x

11:26 AM, December 21, 2009  
Blogger claire said...

also, makes me giggle to think of a little caramel corn stuck on the end of your little close up filter hi tech gizmo thing : )

11:26 AM, December 21, 2009  
Blogger Karen Morss said...

Dear Molly, One of my husband's favorite things is Carmel Popcorn. I am going to make this for him on Christmas Day. Thank you so much!

Lemon Ladies Orchard

11:42 AM, December 21, 2009  
Blogger Karen Morss said...

Molly, I read about your last year in the Chronicle and made a note to contact you when the lemons in my orchard were ready. I have 40 organic Meyer Lemon trees and ship lemons all over the US. I would love to send you a sample! Please send me an email at karenmorss@gmail.com with your mailing address. Happy Holidays!
Karen, www.lemonladies.com

11:45 AM, December 21, 2009  
Blogger Molly said...

Claire, Nathan would really freak out if he knew that there was a little bit of caramel corn in a container on my kitchen counter the whole time you were here! Eeee. Come back soon.

Pola, don't worry: your first comment did come through! It's just that it was on a different post, not this one. You can see my reply over here (scroll down). I've never made marmalade, so sadly, I don't know how to help. So sorry!

1:03 PM, December 21, 2009  
Anonymous Deb Williams said...

Hi Molly:

Thanks for posting this recipe, I was intrigued, tried it last night, and today, and will again tonight and more tomorrow. It's terrific and I'm giving it away for Christmas, yay! I posted a link to you on my blog, http://blog.ducksinaroworganizing.net/, along with a little note about how everyone should buy your book.

Happy Carmelly Holidays!


1:37 PM, December 21, 2009  
Anonymous Cindy Lillard said...

Congratulations, Molly. I am in London visiting my daughter, Molly, and you are listed in the "Independent" as one of the 50 Best of 2009. The title of the article is The 50 Best of 50 Best. Every Saturday, the Independent's experts bring you the finest fashion, homewares, gadgets and outings in the original smart shopping list. Here are their favourites from 2009... You are there! How exciting!

1:57 PM, December 21, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh boy am I sorry I read this post! I followed your directions--except I used pecans instead of peanuts--and ended up with a celestial golden cloud of crunchy, buttery goodness. Took some to the office and it practically evaporated! Will make more for holiday gifts. And try to stop eating so much of it! Thanks, Molly and Happy Holidays to all.

2:02 PM, December 21, 2009  
Blogger Melissa said...


My friends thank you for this recipe. I made a double batch on Sunday morning for a party I was attending that afternoon. I had to put the bowl in the trunk of the car to keep from finishing it before I left! Fantastic, and definitely a keeper of a recipe.


4:06 PM, December 21, 2009  
Anonymous jessiev said...

oh, dear molly, you've changed my plans for tomorrow. THIS will be first thing to happen, possibly BEFORE breakfast, bc i just can't wait any longer. THANK YOU!

edward? yep.

and homemade? yes, to that, too. i love making gifts. *that* is the meaning of christmas, for me. giving love.

thank you! happy holidays!

7:20 PM, December 21, 2009  
Blogger Trisha said...

I am watching Twilight and making this caramel corn. Is that perfect or what?

7:51 PM, December 21, 2009  
Anonymous rachel said...

I made this recipe last night, it was so fun to see how the baking soda totally changed the make-up of the caramel. We ate half of the caramel corn alongside grilled turkey dogs. Thanks for the recipe!

5:37 AM, December 22, 2009  
Blogger Perks said...

Looks fabulous. Will definitely try! And the Twilight references...so funny!


6:53 AM, December 22, 2009  
Anonymous The Food Addicts said...

Your photos are interesting and unique - did you actually take them with a Polaroid and scanned them in? Or did you photoshop it to look like that? The caramel popcorn is a great snack to have! Thanks for the recipe.

9:33 AM, December 22, 2009  
Anonymous Pola said...

Thanks, Molly, very much for your answer, and "oh well".

I will just have to experiment and hopefully, along with the other hints I have gathered from your post about jam, and the comments too, I will have some yummy marmalade to share around. I never liked marmalade till that one time I made it myself, oh so long ago. If it comes out well I will let you know about the peel.

I noticed in reading your previous blog posts you like your clafoutis, this is somewhat of an obsession with me. I will keep watching out for anything else you care to post on this topic.

Such a shame we live so very far way from Seattle, with little chance of a visit either (closest we ever get is San Fran, perhaps Napa, boohoo), but should you ever happen our way...

Thanks again for your note, looking forward to your next post, saluti cordiali di Pola x

9:41 AM, December 22, 2009  
Anonymous islamama said...

i've tried and failed with caramel corn so many times, but you've inspired me to try again. maybe it was the twilight references. probably...the thought of edward cullen makes me oddly hungry!

12:53 PM, December 22, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just got home from lunch at Ceiba (probably my favorite restaurant in DC) and had trouble sharing the caramel corn with the rest of the table. It is SO good.

1:01 PM, December 22, 2009  
Blogger Sandee said...

Made 3 batches last night for gifts. I stopped an bought more popcorn on my way home tonight. For me. SO damn good.

2:02 PM, December 22, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi add a super fine minced jalapeno. No seeds. It gives it a tiny little kick.

3:14 PM, December 22, 2009  
Blogger Molly said...

Thanks, Food Addicts! Yes, those are actual Polaroids that I scanned in. I use a Minolta Instant Pro (with Polaroid Spectra film) and a Polaroid SX-70 (with Polaroid 600 film).

4:26 PM, December 22, 2009  
Anonymous Linda said...

It is I, Linda of the blackened caramel bottom (oh dear. that sounds awful.), writing to report that it was, indeed, a bit of oven temp trouble which has now been corrected. Since said correction I have made THREE entirely successful double batches of this heaven for gifts and a fourth is just now out of the obedient oven and waiting for tomorrow night's board game party.
Thanks again for the recipe and for all you do on this blog, Molly!

Merry Christmas

7:37 PM, December 22, 2009  
Blogger D G said...

Incidentally, I made this with Earth Balance for some vegan friends and it worked out perfectly. Another non-vegan friend actually preferred it to the regular version.

9:11 PM, December 22, 2009  
Anonymous Cynthia Bertelsen said...

This is probably the best gift I could possibly get for Christmas. Thank you for posting it!

7:20 AM, December 23, 2009  
Anonymous sheryl cox said...

how do you have leftovers to give away? i guess the first batch was my "taste-test". i've taste-tested about 8 cups so far...guess i'll have to make more if i want to give any away. yum! i have a 20+ year old recipe to make it in the microwave in a brown paper bag...i'll share if interested! of course, yours was MUCH better...

8:25 AM, December 23, 2009  
Blogger Heather said...

Wow. Definitely the best caramel corn I have ever tasted in my life. Thank you.

11:02 AM, December 23, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yum, thanks.

2:06 PM, December 23, 2009  
Blogger Aspen Anne said...

Fantastic! Wondering why the words "cracker jack" didn't make it in your description. I still can't believe how great this is - after eating way too much of it - just to taste, of course.

5:34 PM, December 25, 2009  
Blogger Tammi said...

Made it. Shared it. Loved it. Thank you.

7:34 PM, December 25, 2009  
Blogger sarah said...

Delicious and super-easy! Even the non-caramel corn fans loved it! Thanks!

7:08 AM, December 26, 2009  

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