Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Treats: Caramel, White Chocolate, and Milk Chocolate Popcorn

This is what I made this year for people I want to give small gifts to... in my family, that means cousins, aunts, and uncles mostly. I spend a lovely couple of hours with a friend, and we each got 14 bags to give away. We made a double batch of white and milk chocolate, and a single of the caramel (or about 1 cup of unpopped popcorn per type). The cost, including ribbon and bags, was less than $10 each. My favorite is the milk chocolate, but my friend preferred the white.

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 quarts popped popcorn
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (95 degrees C). Place popcorn in a very large bowl.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.
  3. Place in two large shallow baking dishes and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces.
Milk Chocolate Popcorn
  1. Preheat oven to 300F degrees.
  2. Grease a large roasting pan.
  3. Combine popcorn and nuts in prepared roasting pan.
  4. Combine morsels, corn syrup and butter in a medium, heavy-duty saucepan.
  5. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils.
  6. Pour over popcorn and toss well to coat.
  7. Bake, stirring frequently for 30 to 40 minutes.
  8. Loosen popcorn from pan and allow to cool slightly in pan.
  9. Remove to a wax paper lined cookie sheet to cool completely.
White Chocolate Popcorn

2 cups white chocolate dipping wafers
1/2 cup popcorn (measured unpopped), air popped

  1. Pop popcorn.
  2. Melt white chocolate wafers in glass measuring cup in microwave.
  3. Pour white chocolate over popcorn. Stir well.
  4. Spread on wax paper lined cookie sheets. Allow to harden.
Update to anyone planning to try these: 2 weeks later, they all still taste great. The chocolate and caramel are still very crispy. The white chocolate has more of a soft texture, but has been well loved.

I just may repeat this next year.


  1. What a great treat to give. Thanks for the wonderful idea!

  2. It looks great! I love the idea and how you packaged it.

  3. Less then $10 per bag of popcorn or less than $10 altogether?

  4. The supplies for all 28 bags were less than $20 (it's hard to judge because I spent about $20, but my friend brought the ribbon and I had lots of margarine and corn syrup left, as well as some popcorn).

    The bags aren't huge; probably about 3 cups each. Big enough to be a gift for one person, but not big enough to get sick on popcorn.

  5. That helps thanks. They look really tasty. I was wondering if you still have that list of other homemade gifts you were deciding between? If you could post that I would really appreciate it. (this is kelly72206)

  6. Sure! It's right here:

    I went with the popcorn because my friend wanted to make something with me, and it seemed like something anyone could enjoy. I will probably still make a few other things (like gingerbread pancake mix) as I decide who is getting what.

  7. Where did you get the bags for the popcorn?

  8. Michaels ($7 for 50, find a coupon first if you can)

    They do have Christmas themed ones, but I figured clear was classier and more useful the other 11 months of the year.

  9. I'm glad it wasn't some magic store only in Canada. I will secure my coupon and head there tomorrow.

  10. Mmmm - I love popcorn and this all looks great!