Salted Caramel Corn

Salted Caramel Corn (Adapted from Food 52)
3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup white corn kernals

1 cup brown sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 ounces milk or semisweet chocolate
1/2 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil


1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spray sheet pan with cooking spray and set it aside for later. 

2. In a large stock pot or dutch oven, add 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat with 3 kernels of the popcorn. Place the lid on top and wait until you hear the popcorn pop. That's when you know the oil is hot enough to add the rest. 

3. Once you hear them pop, add the rest of the popcorn with the lid almost all the way on, and continue popping until it slows, almost stopping. Check them at this point, because nobody likes burnt popcorn! :) Remove from heat, set in a bowl, and set aside. 

4. In a separate small saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, heavy cream, and salt. Bring to a boil. 

5. Reduce heat to allow caramel mixture to simmer, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add in vanilla - allow to cool slightly. 

6. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn in bowl and mix thoroughly, allowing popcorn to be fully coated. You might have to use your hands for this step. 

7. Spread popcorn evenly and in one single layer over baking tray, and I sprinkled with a bit of extra brown sugar for luck. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. If popcorn is still mushy at 30 minutes, cook for another 10 minutes. Popcorn will not be "dry" at this point, but should be crunchy. Spread onto parchment paper to allow to cool. 

8. Mix together 3 ounces chocolate and oil and heat until melted. Drizzle mixture over cooled popcorn and allow to harden (I threw mine in the freezer for a few minutes). Break apart with spoon into smaller pieces, and enjoy! Store in a tupperware or sealable container to keep from getting stale and mushy.