Saturday, September 25, 2010

Chocolate Almond Caramel Corn

Chocolate Almond Caramel Corn

Crunchy, sweet, a little salty and then you add the chocolate.  I had a craving for "moose munch."  You know, the caramel corn made by Harry and David.  It's so good but I rarely ever buy it because I will eat the whole thing in one sitting.  And it is a little expensive.  I have to admit, it's worth the price, but yesterday I had a whim.  I started thinking how fun it would be to make my own.  Yes, this is the talk of a crazy foodie who sits around thinking about recreating recipes that are readily available at the store.  I am sure it would be simpler to go buy a bag, but not near as fun!

A big bowl for guests!

So, I will walk you through the simple steps of making my Chocolate Almond Caramel Corn.  The best part is that it's fairly inexpensive to make.  It makes a large batch which would be perfect for a holiday party, guests in town or even better, pour into little glassine bags and tie with ribbons for a great teacher gift.  I think I'll make "trick or treat" bags for friends and neighbors.

Individual bags of my Chocolate Caramel Corn

This is a two step process- first you make the caramel corn.  Next you add chocolate.  The caramel corn is good enough to eat on it's own.  The chocolate is just an added bonus.  I added almonds.  You can use almonds or pecans or peanuts or macadamia nuts.  I chose dark chocolate.  You might choose white chocolate or milk chocolate.  The combinations are endless.  I think white chocolate, almonds and dried cherries would be good.  But my favorite will always be dark chocolate with almonds.  It may be difficult to have the kids help with making the caramel corn, but they could certainly help with the chocolate, if you don't mind messy fingers!  So, good luck and enjoy.  Be careful, though, it's really hard to stop eating!

Chocolate Almond Caramel Corn

1 cup butter
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
6 cups of popped corn (about 3 bags- I used kettle corn)
1 cup roasted, salted almonds
6 oz good quality chocolate (I like Scharffen Berger semi-sweet bar)

Preheat your oven to 250F. You will need two cake pans or one large 1/2 sheet pan for slow cooking the caramel corn.  Pop the corn and pour the bags into a large bowl.  Shake the bowl to release any unpopped kernels.  Most of these will fall to the bottom of the bowl.  Scoop out the popped corn and lay it in the pan. Sprinkle the cup of almonds evenly over the corn.

Next,  melt the butter on the stove over medium heat.  Stir in the corn syrup, sugar and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil stirring constantly. Boil without stirring for 3-4 minutes.  (The original recipe said you should let boil for 5 minutes.  I tried it twice and both times 5 minutes would have been too long.  My caramel would have burned.  You want a nice rich caramel color- not dark brown. So watch carefully.)

Remove from the heat, stir in the soda and vanilla (Careful, it foams!). Pour over the popped corn and mix well. The caramel is very hot.  You'll be tempted to use your fingers, DON'T!  Use a spatula.  The caramel will melt and coat the popcorn more evenly as it bakes in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Let it cool.

In a small bowl, melt the chocolate.  You can melt chocolate in the microwave if you heat in 20-30 second intervals, stirring in between.  Over heating chocolate will make it seize up into a ball.  I used a high quality bar chocolate because it doesn't have the stabilizers in it like chocolate chips.  I think it melts better.  In fact, heat just one square first.  When it is melted, add the rest of the chocolate.  This will help temper the chocolate. 

Next, take chunks of the caramel corn and place in a small dish (approximately 2 cups worth).  Pour the melted chocolate over the caramel corn and stir until completely coated. Lay the chocolate chunks out on wax paper and leave in a cool, dry place to harden.  It make take several hours.  It is so humid in Houston that I had to refrigerate to speed the process.

When completely hardened, mix it with the big batch of caramel corn and store in an air tight container.  In theory, it should last for a couple of weeks, but you know, once you start it's really hard to stop!


  1. I've been looking for this exact recipe to take to friends tonight when we go "boo-ing". This one is perfect. Thanks! (Found the post through google.)

  2. So glad you like the caramel corn recipe. In theory, it will last a long time in an airtight container but, you know, once you start eating it's hard to stop! Thanks for your comment!

  3. Robin,

    This turned out so delicious. Thank you so much for the recipe! I wrote a post about this recipe on my blog ( and included a link to this post. Hope that's okay.

    Thanks again!

  4. So glad you enjoyed the recipe and happy to have you include a link. More people eating caramel corn is a great thing! By the way, your photos are really good.

  5. Here in the UK we have scones,either plain,dried mixed fruit or cherry normally served with butter or jam (jelly)preserve and clotted cream.In some US states you have scones and in some you have biscuits (scone like)like in Florida, and they serve it with chicken (bizzar).please can you differenciate this for me

  6. Dear Sweet "Anonymous" from the UK,
    Sorry for the delay in responding to your comments. This time of year is very busy in the US as we come together to celebrate our Thanksgiving holiday, so my aplogies. I was so happy to see your comments. I hope I can answer your questions. I have visited England only a few times, so you would be the expert on scones. I love them with clotted cream, a delicacy that is difficult for us to get here in the states. But being from Texas, I may be able to explain biscuits. I know that you use the word biscuit to describe what we call cookies. In America, biscuits refer to small, leavened bread, similar to a scone but not sweet. We have many varietes, some recipes use baking power, some are yeast biscuits and we even have a wet, doughy version called "drop biscuits". In the South, where biscuits are very popular, we would serve them with dinner/supper. They are often served with fried chicken and mashed potatoes or even for breakfast where we serve biscuits with gravy on top. This may sound strange, but they are delicious and I wish I could cook you a batch with gravy and send them across the pond to you. They are delicious and I think you might enjoy them. I hope this answers your questions!

  7. Robin, I made this last night (and packed it in tins for my husband's co-workers - other than a bag I kept for myself!) So so good! Thanks for sharing!