Caramel Puffcorn: A Super Easy, Super Frugal Holiday Treat

I was first introduced to the concept of Caramel Puffcorn about ten years ago while on a play date with my then-toddler daughter.  She took one bite, and it was over: she had a new favorite treat.   Over the years, it’s become one of our standard recipes to share when kids are in the mix.  I don’t think I’ve ever met a child who wasn’t absolutely crazy about it.

While you can purchase prepared caramel puffcorn in the stores, but it’s definitely more fun (and yummier) to make it at home with your kids.   Old Dutch Puffcorn runs about $2.28 per bag (at Walmart); so for under $4 total you can create a yummy treat and spend time together as well.

Ingredients

1 Bag of Old Dutch Puffcorn
1 Cup of Butter (Not Margarine)
1 1/4 Cups of Brown Sugar
2/3 Cup of Light Corn Syrup
1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 250°F.
  • Combine butter, brown sugar, and light corn syrup in a 2 quart sauce pan.
  • Cook on medium heat until mixture has melted.
  • Once mixture has melted add the baking soda. (Note: This will cause the mixture to foam)
  • In a large roaster pan pour Old Dutch Puffcorn and pour caramel mixture over the Old Dutch Puffcorn and stir until mixed.
  • Place in oven for 45 minutes, stirring at least every 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, pour on wax paper and break apart.
  • Let cool and ENJOY!

Recipe Variations

  • For a scrumptious addition to this already delicious recipe drizzle melted chocolate over the mixture after you remove it from the oven!

Caramel puffcorn

This recipe is on the bag itself or you can also find it on the Old Dutch Website.

The fun part is when you add the baking soda to the melted butter and brown sugar mixture and it begins to foam (pictured above).    After that, you simply pour the mixture over the puffcorn and bake for about 40 minutes at 250 degrees, stirring every ten minutes.

While puffcorn tastes good any time of the year, it’s a fun little treat when packaged and given away for the holidays.  Target has these cute little takeout boxes in their Dollar Spot, as well as holiday-themed goody bags for just $.25.  Perfect for an inexpensive gift idea.

Note:  While I certainly realize that caramel puffcorn is a treat, not a healthy snack (it is processed so it has less fiber than popcorn, it’s also a bit more expensive); it is  less of a choking risk for young children than popcorn because it has no hulls.  For that reason, it may be a good alternative to caramel popcorn for children under the age of four.



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5 Responses to Caramel Puffcorn: A Super Easy, Super Frugal Holiday Treat

  1. Karen says:

    Where do you get the popcorn you used? Can you recommend any other brands?

  2. Pam says:

    I make this all the time, but a bit easier version – if you can believe that… this method eliminates the baking time by using the microwave.

    1 Bag of Old Dutch Puffcorn (can use popped corn)
    1/2 Cup of Butter (Not Margarine)
    1 Cup of Brown Sugar
    1/4 Cup of Light Corn Syrup
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
    1 clean, large brown paper grochery bag

    Puor Puffcorn or popcorn into grochery bag and set aside.

    Combine sugar, butter, syrup, and salt in a microwave safe bowl. Cook 2 minutes on high or until boiling. remove from microwave and add baking soda. Stir well.

    Pour mixture over pop corn in brown bag, fold closed and shake well.
    Place bag in Micro on high for 90 seconds. Remove from micro and shake well.
    Put bag back into micro for 90 seconds. remove and shake well.
    Pour on a cookie sheet and cool.

  3. Anita says:

    I make mine the same way, in the microwave. I am going to make it with my Brownie girl scouts next week.

  4. Anita says:

    Puffcorn is on sale this week at CVS, $1.50/bag.

  5. Pingback: Christmas Recipes: 25 Days of Holiday Treats | Online Coupons & Savings

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