I decided to try making honey caramel corn on a whim a couple weeks ago, and everyone in my family liked it so much it’s now one of our favorite fall snacks. At first, I was worried the flavor of the honey would be too sweet. I will often avoid using it when making baked goods because the flavor tends to be overpowering, but in this case the flavor of the caramelized honey mixed with the butter, salt and popcorn creates a nicely balanced and delicious combination, and it’s really hard to describe. It’s just one of those recipes you have to try for yourself. These days, I prefer using honey to sugar or corn syrup whenever I make my caramel corn.
In our house, we’ve been working through a gallon of local raw raspberry honey, which definitely has a stronger flavor than a mild clover honey, but still works perfectly in this recipe. I’ve also used barley honey and wildflower honey, and I love how each variation comes through slightly differently. It can be a real celebration of local flavor if you source your honey nearby. We also like to play with different varieties of popcorn. A dessert as simple as this gives the ingredients a chance to shine, so we like to get the best quality we can get.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you may want to try mixing in a tablespoon or two of peanut butter or some vanilla extract (or both). If you use the nut butter, it’ll thicken the sauce a bit more, so you’ll need to move quickly before it hardens too much to stir, but it’s worth the extra trouble if you love the creamy addition of peanut butter like we do.
Regarding our popcorn, we source our kernels either locally through farmer’s markets, or from organic bulk stores like Essential Organics, and we pop it using an air popper, but you could use any method you like to pop the kernels. Just make sure they’re all popped and waiting in a large enough bowl to stir without making a mess before you get going on the sauce. It’ll save you a lot of trouble in advance.Print