I’ve never understood why anyone would buy packaged caramel popcorn (yes, I’m talking about those tin cans)- or worse, the “caramel-flavored” microwave popcorn which comes with a little pack of artificially flavored caramel to mix with your popcorn while its hot. See, the thing is that caramel is sugar. And if you have popcorn and sugar in your house, you can make caramel popcorn that tastes a thousand times better than anything storebought.
My own recipe, which I think is based off one I got in Seventeen magazine when I was, um, around 17, uses brown sugar, honey, kosher salt, and plenty of butter. I love that phrase, plenty of butter. It always equals something good.
Brown Sugar Caramel Popcorn Recipe
3-4 cups plain popcorn, popped (you can make this in the microwave, hot air popper, or kettle)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons butter
In a large pot, over medium heat, melt the butter. To this, add the brown sugar, honey and salt. Stir while cooking, so that it all melts into a gorgeous, golden caramel… just below boiling. Immediately take off heat, pour onto your popcorn, and mix mix mix.
I don’t always have honey around, so sometimes I omit it altogether. And of course, you can add all sorts of goodies to this, like chopped walnuts or almonds- even some chocolate, if that’s your thing.