Monday, February 21, 2011

Homemade Crunch and Munch Caramel Nut Popcorn

A wonderful popcorn treat that is delicious made fresh at home - popcorn tossed in a buttery caramel toffee coating with your favorite nuts, what is not to love about that?!

Homemade Crunch and Munch

Way more than Cracker Jack, way more than dark Caramel Corn, Butter Toffee Popcorn - or more specifically Crunch and Munch - has always been my love. What sets Butter Toffee apart from Caramel Corn? I don't really know! I know a lot of people simply call this Caramel Corn, but to me Caramel Corn has a much deeper, richer molasses flavor and is darker in color. Butter Toffee popcorn, is more brown sugar buttery, and lighter in color than Caramel Corn to me. But, that's just me, because The Cajun just calls this Caramel Corn. I can tell you one thing that we agree on about it. It is addictive!

Okay, so it's true there's a little work behind this snack, and yes, it makes a mess that requires you soak a few pots too, but it is so very worth it. Some recipes add baking soda and vanilla, but I don't know why, and I really don't find the recipe needs either. I also know that some people make this using bags of microwave popcorn, but I have kinda gotten into the habit of popping corn fresh on the stove top and really enjoy the whole process. To me, it just tastes better, plus I like adding in my own real, pure butter right into the cooking process too. Besides, there was that whole microwave popcorn health scare thing. Oh you didn't know about that? Me either, well, not until after the fact anyway, but that's a whole 'nother post.

If you prefer to skip that step, you can certainly substitute microwave popcorn. Most standard size microwave popcorn brands will yield somewhere between 3-1/2 to 5 cups of popcorn, so you would need somewhere around 4 bags. One-half cup of raw popcorn kernels will yield about 4 quarts (16 cups) of popped popcorn, so you can see as with most packaged products, it is much more economical to use raw kernels.

This recipe makes what I consider to be one batch, meaning it pops well in my smallest stainless Dutch oven, the pot that I like to use for popcorn. It's  about 4-1/2 quarts in size. Certainly do as many batches as you like! I'm not gonna say how many we went through over the weekend.

If you think this sounds yummy, I'd sure it if you'd click to pin it, tweet it, stumble it, or share it on Facebook to help spread the word - thanks!


Recipe: Homemade Butter Toffee Caramel Nut Popcorn

From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 1 hour | Yield: About 4 quarts


For the Popcorn:
  • 2 tablespoons of canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of raw popcorn kernels
  • Large pinch of kosher salt
For the Caramel Nut:
  • 3 cups of nuts (peanuts, pecan halves, cashews, almonds, walnuts, or any combination)
  • 1-1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup of light brown sugar, packed well
  • 1/2 cup of light Karo corn syrup

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with non-stick spray; set aside. Melt a half stick (1/4 cup) of unsalted butter for later; set aside.

Prepare the popcorn by heating the oil, then adding the 2 tablespoons of butter, along with the raw popcorn kernels. Pop, then salt and toss; set aside. Meanwhile, for the caramel, melt the stick (1/2 cup) of butter in a large saucepan, add the brown sugar and corn syrup, and using a wooden spoon, stir constantly, bringing mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to between medium and medium high and allow to boil, without stirring, for 5 minutes. Quickly and carefully pour the brown sugar mixture over the top of the popcorn and stir immediately to distribute, adding the 1/2 stick of melted butter while stirring. Turn out onto prepared baking sheet.

Bake at 250 degrees F for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Stir, transfer to a cool baking sheet to dry and set. Delicious served slightly warm. Store in an airtight container.

Cook's Notes: You get far more bang for your buck using homemade popcorn as above, but you can substitute microwave popcorn if you prefer. Most standard size microwave popcorn brands will yield somewhere between 3-1/2 to 5 cups of popcorn, so you would generally need about 4 or 5 bags.

Variation: Make it more like Cracker Jack by substituting half dark Karo syrup, with half molasses or pure cane syrup, and using dark brown sugar.


Requires Adobe Reader - download it free!
©Deep South Dish
Are you on Facebook? If you haven't already, come and join the party! We have a lot of fun & there's always room for one more at the table.

Check These Recipes Out Too!

Homemade Baked Potato Chips
Homemade Tortilla Chips
Sugared Nuts

Posted by on February 21, 2011
Images and Full Post Content including Recipe ©Deep South Dish. Pinning and sharing links is welcomed and encouraged, but please do not repost or republish elsewhere such as other blogs, websites, or forums without explicit prior permission. All rights reserved.

Material Disclosure: Unless otherwise noted, you should assume that post links to the providers of goods and services mentioned, establish an affiliate relationship and/or other material connection and that I may be compensated when you purchase from a provider. You are never under any obligation to purchase anything when using my recipes and you should always perform due diligence before buying goods or services from anyone via the Internet or offline.
Bookmark and Share


  1. I was just looking for a recipe like this...thank you as always...and have a sweet week, hugs, Flavia

  2. I adore popcorn done up like this.

  3. I have such a weakness for popcorn and have always been a carmel corn freak. I would call this carmel corn simply because I've never had a molasses type recipe. Looks wonderful Mary.

  4. That sounds delicious, but I have to confess, it's way more work than I would put forth! My bad.

  5. Hi Mary! Wow...this recipe brings back childhood memories! I'm bookmarking it so I can make some for our school bake sale. The kiddos would love this! Thanks!

    BTW...I just started a new Monday Blog Hop called "Melt in your Mouth Monday." C'mon over and link up! :)

    Have a great week!

  6. oh yum, mary!! this looks right up my alley, anne

  7. Oh boy Mary I wish I could still eat the caramel nut popcorn cause yours looks yummy. There was a time when I did and boy don't let fingers get in way, one might just come up missing!

  8. wow! looks delish! great idea!


Thanks for taking the time to comment - I love hearing from readers and I read every single comment and try to respond to them right here on the site, so stop back by!

From time to time, anonymous restrictions and/or comment moderation may be activated due to comment spam. I also reserve the right to edit, delete or otherwise exercise total editorial discretion over any comments left on this blog.

Related Posts with Thumbnails