Easy Caramel Corn

This caramel corn is so easy to make and is perfect for packaging and giving as a homemade gift!

You guys. I don’t even know how to begin this post. This is possibly one of the most surreal days of my life (in a good way)…

I wrote a book, and it is officially, as of today, ON SHELVES!!!!

2 years in the making, and it’s finally out there. For everyone to see. EVERYONE. Eeeeeeek!!!

So, basically, I’m dying. Coherent thoughts aren’t coming, and there’s a good chance this post will be all over the place. But stick with me. Even if I don’t make any sense, I promise I’ve got a worthwhile recipe for you at the end of all of this rambling.

This caramel corn is so easy to make and is perfect for packaging and giving as a homemade gift!

Writing a cookbook has been a really bizarre and rewarding experience. And such a team project! Whew! I never knew how many people it took to publish a cookbook. It takes a lot of (extremely patient and talented) people. If you’ve ever wondered how it kind of works, here’s a basic run down…

A literary agency contacted me with an idea, and we worked together on taking the concept and turning it into a pitch for publishing houses (complete with photos, recipes, comparative book stats, marketing strategies, etc…). And then…. we waited. For months (nerves, anxiety, more nerves…). Until a publishing house made an offer (even more nerves!).

I came up with 75 recipes and wrote the book. This took somewhere between 6 months and year. To be honest, the time frame has all become a little fuzzy. But let’s just say…. we ate popcorn at our house every day for a very long time! This stage involved a lot of take-out dinners, amazing babysitters, late night kitchen cleaning, and floss.

Serious floss, you guys. I think I have some PTSD from the feeling that I would never be able to get all the kernels out of my teeth. Ever.

Sorry if that’s gross TMI. But… it happened.

And after all of that came months editing and photos and more editing.

And then waiting. And waiting. And waiting. Waiting for vendors to check it out, waiting for the first printing, waiting for my first advanced copies, waiting, waiting, waiting….

Next: a bazillion email conversations with a really awesome marketing team and prep for getting the word out about publication.

And then I blinked and it was today. TODAY! Books are on the shelves and online, and I’ve got butterflies in my stomach!

This caramel corn is so easy to make and is perfect for packaging and giving as a homemade gift!

In honor of the big day, I’m sharing my very favorite recipe from the book… this easy Caramel Corn.

My roommate gave me this recipe in college, and it’s been a family favorite ever since. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who doesn’t like this stuff. It’s NEVER a bad idea.

It’s quick and easy to make, very no fuss. Besides being perfect for movies and game nights, it’s also amazing for gifting. It packages really well and… I won’t confess to how I know this– but it has an INCREDIBLY long shelf life.

Like…. months. Uh… like, a lot of months.

I know. Sorry. College kids are disgusting. What can I say?

Anyway.

This recipe is amazing and a classic one to keep on hand all of the time.

This caramel corn is so easy to make and is perfect for packaging and giving as a homemade gift!

It’s my THANK YOU to all of you. In my wildest dreams, I never imagined that authorship would be a part of my journey in life. And thanks to you guys, my incredible readers and the blogging community, I was able to have this amazing experience. I appreciate each and every one of you!

In the coming weeks, as an even BIGGER thank you, I’ll be featuring recipes from the book and REALLY COOL giveaway items that I’ve been saving up just for you guys. Be sure to keep checking in, because you aren’t going to want to miss a post!

To learn more about Party Popcorn, be sure to check out my COOKBOOK page. And you can purchase the book on Amazon or at your nearest Barnes & Noble.

Enjoy the recipe!

Caramel Corn

This caramel corn is so easy to make and is perfect for packaging and giving as a homemade gift!

Ingredients:

8 cups popped popcorn

3/4 cup brown sugar

6 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons light corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of sea salt

optional: melted chocolate for drizzling

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 300ºF. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Pour the popcorn into a large bowl and remove any unpopped kernels.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup until the butter has melted and the mixture reaches a slow bubble. Allow the mixture to bubble for 4 minutes.

Remove from the heat immediately and mix in the vanilla extract and baking soda.

Pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn. Using a large rubber spatula, gently stir to coat.

Spread the popcorn evenly onto the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the sea salt (adding more to taste if desired). Bake the popcorn for 10-15 minutes. A 10-minute bake will yield a chewy popcorn (my preference if we're eating it same day, not so good for packaging and storing). A 15-minute bake will yield a crunchy popcorn (PERFECT for packaging and storing).

Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a bowl to serve.

Optional: drizzle with chocolate if desired.

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Ashton Swank

Ashton is the owner and author of Something Swanky. Although first and foremost a wife and mother, she considers herself an online entrepreneur, freelance writer and photographer, and brand ambassador. Her focus is in food styling, food photography and recipe development.