chocolate caramel corn with cranberries and almonds

Chocolate Caramel Corn with Cranberries and Almonds

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Chocolate Caramel Corn
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I have a handful of issues when it comes to food. As in the type of issues where one could potentially find me in a dark corner of the closet, well, closet eating. I think my number one “issue” very well may be caramel corn. (does anyone else have a vice this tremendous!?)

chocolate caramel corn with cranberries and almonds

We have visited this a couple times over with recipes like Easter Crack and the original beauty Brown Sugar Caramel Corn. This is an updated variety, full of Holiday twists!

chocolate caramel corn with cranberries and almonds

I took my crispy, sweet Brown Sugar Caramel Corn and coated it in Chocolate. Then I added chocolate covered almonds and tart dried cranberries. Now my issues have multiplied….

Oh! A note on the almonds. I used Trader Joes chocolate covered almonds with turbinado sugar and sea salt. They are to die for amazing. I had to bake them into something to keep from just shoveling them in raw.

Chocolate Caramel Corn, makes 12 cups
1 cup organic popping corn
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ tsp kosher salt

1 cup butter
2 cups light brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

2 cups of chocolate covered almonds 2 cups dried cranberries
(Optional: additional raisinettes or chocolate covered pomegranate seeds)

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Chop the almonds roughly.

chocolate caramel corn with cranberries and almonds

Put a large pot over a medium heat, and add the oil and popcorn. Put a lid on the pot, with a small gap so that steam can escape.

Pop the corn until there are a few seconds between pops, and it sounds like they are mostly cooked.

chocolate caramel corn with cranberries and almonds

Dump the popped corn into a large buttered roasting pan (like one you would use for your thanksgiving turkey!) and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt.

chocolate caramel corn with cranberries and almonds

In the same pot that you made the popcorn, melt the butter, sugar, corn syrup and salt together.

chocolate caramel corn with cranberries and almondschocolate caramel corn with cranberries and almondschocolate caramel corn with cranberries and almonds

Let them boil, and continue to stir them for about 5 minutes.

In a tiny bowl, mix the baking soda and vanilla together so that the soda is mostly dissolved. When the caramel has cooked about 5 minutes, pull the pot off of the heat, and stir in the vanilla and baking soda. The caramel should get very light and frothy.

chocolate caramel corn with cranberries and almondschocolate caramel corn with cranberries and almondschocolate caramel corn with cranberries and almondschocolate caramel corn with cranberries and almonds

Immediately pour the caramel over the popcorn, and gently fold the caramel into the corn to try to coat it.

chocolate caramel corn with cranberries and almonds

At this point you will probably think that you have not made enough caramel for the corn, as there will be globs of caramel, and a lot of the popcorn will not seem well coated. But don’t worry! This is where the oven comes in.

Put the roasting pan in the preheated oven (250 degrees), and bake the popcorn for about 7-8 minutes.

chocolate caramel corn with cranberries and almonds

Gently stir the popcorn into the melting caramel until the popcorn is better coated.

chocolate caramel corn with cranberries and almonds

Repeat this again at the 15 minute mark, after which the popcorn should be quite evenly coated.

chocolate caramel corn with cranberries and almonds

Bake for another 15 minutes, and then remove from the oven.

Give the corn one final stir to coat the popcorn, and then leave it to cool for a couple minutes.

chocolate caramel corn with cranberries and almonds

Add the dried cranberries and chocolate covered almonds and stir to coat. The chocolate will begin to melt, coating the popcorn as you stir.

chocolate caramel corn with cranberries and almonds

chocolate caramel corn with cranberries and almonds

chocolate caramel corn with cranberries and almonds

You will have to leave out of the way for several hours until the chocolate firms up again.

When the popcorn is totally cool, it will have a nice, thin, crispy coating and then a second layer of chocolate. There will also be tart bits of dried cranberries and crunchy almonds. Store in airtight containers.

chocolate caramel corn with cranberries and almonds

chocolate caramel corn with cranberries and almonds

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19 Comments

  1. This is a great gift idea!

  2. i’ve never been a big popcorn fan, but this might just be the thing that changes my mind. it sounds amazing with the cranberries in there!

  3. Vicki B says:

    Oh my goodness!!!

  4. Angela Greene says:

    I like the mix of colors and flavors. Thanks Heather!

  5. Mamasue123 says:

    Oh man… My jeans got tighter just looking at this!!!!

  6. Jen says:

    I have to try this recipe. It looks amazing! And I love all the step-by-step pictures… thank you!

  7. I have no words for the complete awesomeness that is this treat. TJ’s almonds are my kryptonite…among many other things!

  8. I haven’t made this yet, and I already think I’m in love with it!!!!

  9. Those almonds sound delicious! My vice is plain M&M’s. I am dangerous with a regular sized bag…now I have a party sized bag in my kitchen and I swear it is calling my name.

  10. Gia says:

    Hhhhmmm! Do I have any vices? Why yes! FOOD! I have such a weakness for food. Any food! I definitely love caramel, chocolate, and the salty/sweet combo is to die for. We recently made chocolate peanut butter caramel cereal bars with my nieces and nephew, very similar to your popcorn. They were to die for. Funny thing is I had a craving for popcorn tonight and I was going to make kettle corn, but I think I’ll give yours a try. I’ll let you know how it turned out!

  11. you had me at chocolate caramel corn!

  12. Lucy Lean says:

    My girlfriends and I have a thing for the TJ salted caramels that are seasonal and when they hit the shelves in Nov we all text each other the news! This looks A1 – LOVE popcorn in all it’s forms – sweet and salty.

  13. Ann says:

    Oh, this is FABULOUS! I adore movie popcorn….and popcorn in all it’s glory. This one is dressed up for the party1

  14. jenjenk says:

    dear heather:

    Please move down to SoCal and be my neighbor.

    Love,
    Jenny

  15. marla says:

    A classic snack that is soooo hard to stop eating!

  16. Chocolate! Caramel! Popcorn!…I’m already a goner.

  17. OOh love the addition of cranberries!

  18. Is it me or are popcorn flavours becoming really trendy? I saw a wasabi popcorn the other day. Intrigued.

    • very interesting!? with caramel, or just wasabi flavored popcorn?