Salty Caramel Corn with Pretzels

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Caramel is one of the things that used to scare me the most in the kitchen (besides deep frying, yikes!). I have this terrifying vision of a scalding pot bubbling over, getting seriously burned, and the kitchen ending up in a sticky, caramely mess.

Luckily, this recipe is extremely approachable, as Joy‘s recipes usually are, and after making this super delicious caramel corn, I can say I’m no longer scared. If you can whisk (and wait) – you can do it too!

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Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and a 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Whisk consistently over medium heat until the mixture begins to boil.

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Grease a shallow baking sheet (with sides) with butter or cooking spray, and add popcorn and pretzels to the pan.

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Boil the caramel over medium heat, without stirring, for about 5 minutes. The mixture will be gold and bubbling.

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Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the baking soda.

Then stir in the vanilla extract. It’s normal for the mixture to be foamy and frothy at this stage.

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Quickly pour warm syrup over popcorn and pretzel mixture.  Toss the mixture using a large spoon (I sprayed my spoon with some cooking spray to avoid sticking). Coat as much of the popcorn and pretzels in caramel as you can.  Work quickly.

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Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove and toss, distributing the caramel evenly over the popcorn and pretzels.  Bake for another 20 minutes and then give it one last toss. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Allow to cool, and then break up any large chunks.

Store in a sealed container at room temperature. Joy says it will last up to 4 days, I wouldn’t know!

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Adapted from: Joy the Baker

Makes: 14 cups

Prep: 5 minutes, Cook: 55 minutes, Total: 60 minutes

  • 12 cups popped popcorn
  • 2 cups mini pretzel twists
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

Grease a shallow baking sheet (with sides) with butter or cooking spray, and add popcorn and pretzels to the pan.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and a 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Whisk consistently over medium heat until the mixture begins to boil.

Boil over medium heat, without stirring, for about 5 minutes. The mixture will be gold and bubbling.

Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the baking soda.

Then stir in the vanilla extract. It’s normal for the mixture to be foamy and frothy at this stage.

Quickly pour warm syrup over popcorn and pretzel mixture.  Toss the mixture using a large spoon (I sprayed mine with some cooking spray to avoid sticking). Coat as much of the popcorn and pretzels in caramel as you can.  Work quickly.

Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove and toss, distributing the caramel evenly over the popcorn and pretzels.  Bake for another 20 minutes and then give it one last toss. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Allow to cool, and then break up any large chunks.

Store in a sealed container at room temperature.


8 thoughts on “Salty Caramel Corn with Pretzels

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