Put a little effort into it…

Fall is in full swing around these parts and I am loving it. About the only thing I am not big on these days is Halloween. I mean, it’s alright. But we don’t have kids so it’s not all that fun. It is however the only time of year that Crazy Cocker Spaniel wishes we had kids (see here).

I like when the kids come by, the little kids. The one waddling in their costume and trying their hardest get the words “Trick or Treat” out while their parents stand there next to them beaming with delight. Those kids are cute. What isn’t cute are the teenagers.

Now, I will be the first to admit that I Trick or Treated in my teen years…pretty far up into them too (hangs head in shame) BUT, I at least put some effort into it. I did full out costumes, full out. Now a days they don’t even try. A couple of them will have a mask, but they don’t wear it, they just have it in there hand and sort of flash it at you. Then mumble out a half hearted “Trick or Treat” while rolling their eyes at you. Special.

And the crappy thing is that you have to give them candy. Because if you don’t those suckers come back later and either smash your pumpkins or egg your house. Again, special.

But the Halloween stuff is all out and I do like purchasing the candy. And I especially love that caramels are on sale (which I totally stock up on). When I had my Open House a few years back, my friend E came and brought some homemade caramel corn. It was awesome (as is she), and everyone at the party asked for the recipe. Hers had peanuts in it, but I thought it would be fun to play with the idea of caramel apples. So I did. Her recipe has been changed a little. I used both granulated and brown sugar and used Lyle’s Golden Syrup instead. If you can’t find it, then use corn syrup, but really, the Lyle’s is the way to go. It gives it a more caramel flavor. I can find it at all of my local grocery stores, so you can probably find it if you look.

As you can expect, it’s highly addictive.

Caramel Apple-Caramel Corn

3 bags plain (not buttered) microwavable popcorn (about 16-18 cups depending on how much pops), popped

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, tightly packed
½ cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup (if can’t find, use corn syrup, but I like Lyle’s way better…you can buy it on Amazon.com)
½ tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp baking soda

14 oz bag of caramels (unwrapped…because plastic doesn’t taste that good), chopped into fourths (yep, kind of a pain in the butt, but yummy)
12 oz dried apples, chopped into bit size pieces

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 200F.

Divide the popcorn evenly between to large bowls. Unless you have a really big bowl, but I do not. So I used my stock pot and a large bowl. Evenly divide up apple piece and caramel pieces and toss with popcorn. Set aside.

In a large saucepan bring sugars, syrup, salt, and butter to a boil, over high heat. Boil until all the ingredients has dissolved and it is boiling away at you.

Add vanilla extract and baking soda and stir quickly. Be warned, it’s going to bubble up and get mad at you.

Divide the caramel evenly between the two bowls (or if you are using one bowl, just dump it all in) and mix thoroughly.

Spread out evenly onto prepared baking sheets and place in oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Your caramels will melt, but will firm back up as they cool, don’t panic. Enjoy.

If you don’t want to do the baking method, and you own a candy thermometer, you can skip the oven step by brining the caramel mixture up to 300F while it is boiling (right before you add the vanilla and baking soda). This method allows for the caramel bits to stay their shape better.

Comments

  1. I WILL be making this in the next week. It’s the perfect “I’m taking a week off work and not going anywhere and spending time with the love of my life” snack.

  2. Question on the recipe…it says 1/2 Lyle’s Syrup. Is that half a cup or half of the bottle?

  3. Yum! I love caramel corn, and caramel apple sounds even better!

  4. That’s 1/2 cup, I fixed it. :)

  5. I love the addition of the apple pieces.
    Mimi

  6. This looks amazing!

  7. That’s hyper original! Better than any popcorn that I have ever seen…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  8. You and I feel the same way about annoying little kids – love it, haha :-D

    Caramel Apple Popcorn?? Yes, please!

  9. Caldwell Price says:

    That looks perfect for the fall, can’t wait to try it.

  10. Goodness gracious – that sounds soooo good. I might have to make some yummy popcorn on halloween for our Horror movie fest (okay it will probably be one movie and then we’ll get sleep :P ).

  11. Love the apple touch to the popcorn, hadn’t thought of that!

    I hope we get trick or treaters this year. Usually the town has an event that all of the kids go town (the few of them that there are), so there isn’t much door to door action. Candy leftovers … well, I guess I shouldn’t complain!

  12. My plain Mennonite grandmother used to make caramel popcorn to hand out to the trick-or-treaters. The recipe is now a family classic, and I always crave it this time of year. The idea of dried apples is genius—I’ll give it a go next time…

  13. That. Looks. DIVINE. Apples and caramel – match made in heaven. Thanks for this awesome twist on a favorite (caramel corn). oh boy oh boy oh boy! xxoo

  14. Ooh, neat idea. I might have to try making caramel corn for my girls. They both love popcorn. And fortunately I have no problem finding Lyle’s here. My regular grocery store carries it in a squeeze bottle now.

  15. Caramel corn is the perfect fall snack. I love your apple version!

  16. Halloween is not a big deal around here, but you do have the odd family that participates. I think the lame teenagers just use it as an excuse to walk around late at night!!!!The popcorn looks like such a treat(‘scuse the pun!)

  17. Damn teenagers. I agree that it sucks to have to give them candy but at least it’s only once a year. Now this popcorn looks amazing….yum! I need to find some of that golden syrup too. I have a cookie I need to make and I have searched high and low and can’t seem to find it near me. Now if I do find I have two recipes I can make:)

  18. oh, this is one of my favorite recipes!!!!!! I used to make it a little too often…then my popcorn maker broke.

  19. Wow, this popcorn looks great, and I’m not even that crazy about popcorn! Do you think it would be easier (and cheaper) make homemade caramel sauce rather than use the wrapped candies? You wouldn’t have to unwrap it or cut it into fourths. Anyway, it looks great!

  20. This is such a creative spin on caramel corn and caramel apples. I think I’ll make this for my Halloween party!

  21. I’m making caramel apples tomorrow for a food column I”m writing. This would be a good idea for using any leftover caramels.

    I don’t know if they have this where you live, but I discovered something called caramel bits. It’s made by Kraft and it’s little caramel balls, already unwrapped and ready for melting. I’ve never used them before so we’ll see if they are any good.

  22. Oh, and I forgot to tell you – your dog looks so cute in the landshark costume. My husband would SHOOT me if I dressed up his dog and I’m afraid if I tried to dress up my cat it might do something bad to me in the middle of the night!

  23. Drooling! You always make me so hungry when I come here. This would be great for watching a film with and of course I’m a sucker for anything appley

  24. Had to laugh at your post- your description of the (barely there) costumes and the rolling of the eyes- had me smiling. A good thing this early in the morning!
    My dad used to make caramel corn- we loved it. Haven’t made it in ages. My kids have left the nest and unfortunately we don’t get any trick or treaters here. But I still love reading about everyone’s experiences and I remember well when mine were little.

  25. holycow…..this looks too good!

  26. I just bought those Kraft caramel bits yesterday..I was giddy at the site of them and was sooo excited to not have to individually unwrap all those yummy squares. Peabody, as usual you’ve given me a chuckle for the day. Looking forward to making these. I actually have a bottle of Lyle’s thats been sitting in the pantry waiting just for this recipe!

  27. the picture of your dog is adorable. our cat obviously is not into being dressed up for Halloween, but I I usually get a costume for my parents dog, she was a pirate last year and wore the hat for 2.5 seconds :)

    as always the recipe looks delicious as well!

  28. HA! I totally hear you about the teenagers (I was a trick or treating teenager as well but I was really polite and I made an effort and when people told me I was too old I asked them if they thought it would be a better idea to go downtown and cause trouble and light of fireworks?! They saw my point and gave me candy!) But i’m also afraid they’re going to come back and destroy my house!

    This popcorn looks awesome! And I can trick myself into thinking it’s healthy because it does contain popcorns AND apples! YES! Thanks Peabody!

  29. Love the apples in the popcorn!I do like Halloween. I use it as an excuse to have a bunch of neighbors over for a big pot of chili and beers while I pass out candy.

    I happen to have a teenager but now that he’s almost 6 feet tall, I’m hoping he doesn’t want to Trick or Treat this year. Unless he goes as Herman Munster like my husband did one year!

  30. Great idea adding the apple pieces. Perfect for Fall.

  31. Oh I love caramel corn! and that porcelain container is so nice!

  32. Thank you Peabody for posting another very tempting recipe. I need a snack for a group meeting on Monday – and this is it!

  33. You make the most amazing looking desserts. I can’t wait to try this.

  34. OMG Pea… If I lived north of the city I would be on your doorstep! I have a serious weakness for caramel corn. :D

  35. When I was a kid, in the old days (really old!), many parents actually made caramel corn, and packed it into small bags for trick-or-treaters. Those days of homemade Halloween treats are, sadly, long gone, but I remember that being a huge part of the fun.

  36. Yummy! I may make this to give my trick-or-treaters, as I usually know all of mine :)
    I agree about the teenage trick-or-treaters…that drives me crazy.
    I think I’ll see if I can’t find the Kraft Caramel Bits like “Cooking Bride” suggested.

  37. I told a teenager to take what he wanted one year…he emptied the bowl. I was flabbergasted, still am now that I think about it.

  38. Now I have to go track down some Lyle’s because that looks totally delicious. And since it’s got apples and whole grains, it’s healthy food, right?

  39. Alright, I don’t know how you knew, but I’ve been looking for a caramel popcorn recipe that’s worth the calories! (Sadly, not all caramel corn is created equal!) Thanks for sharing. And I’ll definitely be looking for Lyle’s.

  40. How weird! My mom brought me a can of Lyle’s Golden Syrup back from London a few weeks ago and I haven’t been able to think of anything to make with it. This looks so good and surprisingly easy!

  41. This looks devine – caramel and apple are great flavours. We don’t do Halloween here traditionally, but it is becoming more common and they sell masks and Halloween candies in the stores.

  42. Mmmm, caramel corn, I love the dried apples you added! I still enjoy dressing up for Halloween!

  43. I absolutely love caramel corn!!!!!

  44. I am with you on the teenagers asking for candy. I don’t like it either. Halloween is for the little kids. My son who is 15 never trick or treated when he got big. We won’t be home for halloween this year so I don’t have to worry about buying candy. (and being tempted to eat it:)

  45. That looks great! Maybe next time, kettle corn? It’s on my list of things to try.

  46. Ah, caramel corn… One of the few things that everyone in my family all love! The only problem is, that means that I can’t ever make it, because everyone else will eat it all. ;)

  47. Why, I just love caramel corn! Brilliant idea chopping up apples to mix in. You are such a clever thing!

  48. I can see myself eating this non-stop! Caramel corn and apples…be still my heart!

  49. Wonderful! And I need to source that golden syrup somehow!

  50. YUM!!!! Love the idea of adding apples, delicious!!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Caramel Apple-Caramel Corn Recipe from Culinary Concoctions 8 Spooky and Silly Halloween Party Sweets and Snacks [...]

  2. [...] is a nice take on caramel corn. If you want something a little more Fall like you can check out the Caramel-Apple Corn I made awhile back. Either way, please feel free to make, enjoy, and seek revenge on your [...]

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