Caramel Corn with Cashews and Cherries

Homemade Caramel Corn is one of those sweet-salty treats that I cannot resist! Park a bowlful in front of me during a football game and it will be devoured by halftime!

Caramel Corn with Cashews and Cherries | Perfect snack for game day or movie night

Irresistible Caramel Corn

I only make caramel corn about once a decade and I was overdue. I could eat the whole batch myself, and the picky family doesn’t give me any competition, darn them! I hosted a gathering when my sister was visiting, and it was the perfect opportunity to make a batch. She, unfortunately for me, was eying all the savory treats instead of assisting me with the caramel corn. Thank goodness my mother-in-law was in town, too, and she graciously munched with me after dinner nearly every night!

Caramel Corn with Cashews and Cherries | Perfect snack for game day or movie night

Yes, You Can Make Your Own Caramel Corn!

I often forget that not everyone cooks and bakes as much as I do. At the party, one of my girlfriends spied the bowl of caramel corn, and looked at me with a puzzled expression. “You bought this, didn’t you?” When I told her I made it, she admitted that it never dawned on her that you could actually make caramel corn. Yes, you can and it’s worth it. It would be a wonderful family activity when you’re trapped in the house on a cold weekend this winter. The molten caramel sauce needs to be made and drizzled on the corn by an adult, but older children can help with the stirring if they’re very careful. And if not, I bet they’ll help with the eating! Feel free to add peanuts to make more of a Cracker Jack type poporn or leave out the nuts altogether.

Caramel Corn with Cashews and Cherries | Perfect snack for game day or movie night

Caramel Corn with Cashews and Cherries

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: Lots!

A buttery caramel corn with cashews and dried cherries.
Ingredients
  • 3 bags microwave popcorn, (I use Natural Simply Salted Orville Redenbacher), popped with unpopped kernels removed
  • 1-2 cups roasted cashews, optional
  • 1 cup dried cherries, optional
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Place the popped popcorn and cashews in a large roasting pan. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200º.
  3. Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt in a heavy saucepan. Heat on low and stir till butter is melted. Bring to boil over medium heat, then cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes or till candy thermometer reaches 250º (I recommend using a thermometer). Remove from heat and add baking soda and vanilla, mixing well (mixture will foam up).
  4. Immediately pour caramel over popcorn and stir to coat (kernels won't be totally covered at this point).
  5. Bake for about an hour, stirring every 15 minutes. If using cherries, add them at about the halfway point.
Notes
Be VERY careful with the hot caramel sauce as it will burn skin instantly with contact.

Comments

  1. I am not really a fan of popcorn…but with cashews and cherries, I am really tempted to give it a try too!

  2. Lynn@Happier Than A Pig In Mud says:

    While I eat tons of popcorn, it’s been 100 years since I’ve made caramel corn-love the stuff though:@)

  3. Just sit me in front of the TV with a big of bowl of this… I would be a happy camper!

  4. Yum – we make a huge batch once a year – at Christmas! Just finished up the last “crumbles” last week. I like your idea of adding nuts and dried fruit – will have to remember that for next Christmas. My aunt used to make pink candied popcorn and that was such a treat for us kids!

  5. Nothing better than fresh, warm caramel corn. I love the addition of cashews and dried cherries!

  6. I love the idea of making my own homemade caramel corn!!!! This looks delicious and would be sure to be all eaten up within seconds! Love the cashews and cherries too!!!

  7. Way to go, Liz! It looks great! I’m a huge fan of caramel corn but have never made it. But with cherries and cashews, that’s over the top goodness that has to be tried.

  8. Would you believe I’ve never made caramel corn? I need to get with the program 😉

  9. I am dying to dig into this popcorn right now and I am not willing to share. This looks sooo good!!

  10. I was going to make popcorn today, but it ended up being so busy! Your caramel corn looks delicious!

  11. I could eat tons of this stuff, seriously! It looks so decadent!

  12. Gosh, this thing is dangerous! If I made some, they’ll never see the light of day hah..hah…

  13. Thanks for sharing, I’ll need help losing the weight this summer. 🙂

  14. ALWAYS looking for new snacks . . . yes, I now believe I can make carmel corn myself. Thanks, Liz!

  15. I love homemade caramel corn and this version with cherries and cashews sounds amazing! I hope you don’t wait another decade to make it again.

  16. Even when you make pop corn they are amazing ! I’m think you are right it will be a nice activity to do with children the next raining weekend. They looks gorgeous!

  17. I’ve only made caramel corn once, but I’ll have to try it again – love the addition of cashews and cherries!

  18. Looks scrumptious, Liz! And a perfectly American treat to serve this Saturday when I’ve got a Japanese friend coming over to watch Brooklyn (the movie.) P.s. Nice that you and your mother-in-law get along so well =)

  19. Happy new year, lovely Liz… what a delicious, more-ish recipe. Love it!

  20. I could definitely eat through a bowl before the first half of a movie! And how well pimped with cashews and cherries! It has been a while since I made caramel corn too.

  21. I’m absolutely in love with this caramel corn!!!

  22. I’m sure it’s absolutely worth it, but I’ve never made caramel corn before and it’s my dad’s only vice. When’s father’s day? He’s gonna love me. GREG

  23. What an addictive treat, Liz! I could really go for a handful (ok, make it a bowl ;)) now!

  24. You had me at Caramel Corn, my dear friend! LOVE the stuff, so I’d be plopping myself down right beside you and I’d do the humanitarian thing by helping you eat it. Isn’t that nice of me? The cashews would be a lovely rich texture and flavour to the popped corn, and adding the dried cherries is a nice pop of colour and flavour.

  25. Yum! I think I can eat a whole bowl of these popcorns…like the idea of adding cashew nuts and dried cherries…
    Have a great week Liz 🙂

  26. Lizzy, I would right there with you munching on this stuff. I love caramel corn! I like the addition of cashews and dried cherries in this caramel corn. Yummy stuff!!

  27. Gah, you always seem to find Mrs. W’s favorite ingredients like cashews and cherries! We make caramel corn yearly in the month of orange and black. Next season of the witch? This recipe will get fired up in the cauldron.

  28. I’m a caramel corn ADDICT so this gorgeous stuff is right up my alley! Love the nuts and dried cherries you threw in there! 🙂

  29. Most unusual.

  30. Once a decade is not enough!

  31. I think I could beat you and have this polished off by the quarter.

  32. I’ve made kettle corn but not caramel. My challenge is similar to yours, no one here to help me eat it! Love the addition of cherries.

  33. I could eat caramel corn every day and I love this version! I make a microwave version that I only do once a year. Dangerous stuff for me to have around!

  34. Lizzy,
    I would love this. I’ve never made caramel corn before. Pinned.
    Annamaria

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