Caramel Corn with Smoked Almonds and Fleur de Sel. An American Confection Made at Home.

Caramel-Corn-Almonds-ServingIdeaHow fun was it when you were a kid and you finally discovered the prize at the bottom of your box of caramel corn? You can add your own prizes here…or just skip the movie theater altogether and satisfy your cravings at home!

Homemade Caramel Corn with Smoked Almonds and Fleur de Sel. Yes, it’s as amazing as it sounds! It’s easy to make and tastes better than the one you remember from the county fair! The sweetness of the caramel and the salty savory goodness from the almonds will take you back to your days in the movie theater or in front of your favorite movie in the family room!

I grabbed Stephanie Barnard’s oh so darn cute Stamps of Life patterned paper and rolled it like a cone. How adorable is that! And easy too! Or you could just scoop this sweet and salty goodness into simple little cups…super cute ways to serve individually.

Be careful…it’s addicting!

Caramel Corn
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Caramel Corn with Smoked Almonds and Fleur de Sel

Adapted from Graham Elliot, Epicurious December 2011.

Ingredients

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 Tablespoon baking soda
  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups (about 8 ounces) smoked or regular Marcona almonds*, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Fleur de Sel

Instructions

  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and grease with vegetable oil spray.
  2. Oil a large bowl with vegetable oil spray, as well as a large spoon or rubber spatula (but not the handle 😉 )

    Caramel Corn bowl
  3. In a large deep pot with a lid, stir together the popcorn kernels, oil, and salt. Stir to coat.

  4. Place the covered pot over moderately high heat. Cook, constantly shaking the pot, until all the kernels have popped, 6 to 8 minutes. You will hear as the popping slows down. Stop as soon as they stop! You don't want to let it burn!

  5. Transfer the popped popcorn to the large oil prepared bowl. Discard unpopped kernels.

  6. Combine the corn syrup, sugar, and 1/4 cup water in the same deep pot over moderately high heat. Stir to combine.

    caramel corn syrup
  7. Cook, undisturbed, until the mixture develops a light amber/golden color, about 10 minutes. Careful again, not to let it burn.

    Caramel cooking
  8. Remove the pot from the heat and add the baking soda and butter.

  9. Stir continuously for about 20 seconds melting the butter and combining the ingredients. The mixture will be very hot and will foam up at this point. Continuous stirring helps the foam decrease.

  10. Here's the fun part! Working quickly and very carefully, pour the caramel over the popcorn and quickly add the almonds so they'll stick.

    Caramel Corn
  11. Using the prepared oiled spoon or oiled rubber spatula, stir everything together. You'll want the popcorn and nuts to be evenly coated with the caramel.

    Caramel Corn
  12. Transfer the crunchy sweet goodness onto the prepared baking sheet. Spreading out the caramel corn as much as possible.

  13. Quickly sprinkle with fleur de sel. Let cool and harden for about 20 minutes.

  14. Break it up into smaller, bite-size pieces and serve.

  15. To serve individually (and to avoid germs from grimey little hands digging into a big bowl), roll fun papers into a cone shape or scoop into fun little cups.

    Caramel Corn

Recipe Notes

*Marcona almonds are skinned tender Spanish nuts, roasted and salted. They are available at Trader Joe’s or specialty markets. Be careful not to grab flavored ones!

Gr8 Do-Ahead Tips:

1. The popcorn can be popped up to 3 days in advance (Steps 3 and 4) and stored in an airtight container at room temperature. OR…

2. Caramel corn can be prepared in advance and stored, in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 3 days. 

Adapted from Graham Elliot, Epicurious December 2011.

 

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