New Years and Caramel Corn

Happy New Year! We brought in the new year at a friends place and (I never thought I’d say this) it was great not to host!
This year, I had vowed not to overdo things, since last year I exhausted myself with a New Year’s Eve party AND a New Years brunch, not to mention caring for a newborn.Uh.I remember clearing scads of wine glasses off my table at 3 in the morning -just a fraction of the clean-up- and thinking I had to be up by 7 AM if I wanted to shower before getting started on the two different kinds of scones I was making, among many other things.
Never again! So I made a few batches of caramel popcorn and brought that to the party. It was a hit and the high sugar content fueled people with more energy for dancing. Caution: it’s highly addicting!

Caramel Pecan Popcorn

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup kernels
2 tablespoons plus 1 ½ teaspoons canola oil
2 cups pecan, lightly toasted
2 cups brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
½ teaspoon almond extract
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda

  1. Preheat oven to 250F. Butter 2 rimmed baking sheets; set aside. Place corn kernels and oil in a large pot over medium-high heat; cover. Once kernels begin to pop, shake pot frequently; when popping slows to about 3 seconds between pops, remove from heat; uncover. Transfer to a large bowl. Add nuts and toss.

  2. Cook sugar, butter, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring, until it reaches 255degrees.

  3. Remove from heat. Stir in extracts, salt, pecans, and baking soda. Pour over popcorn mixture; toss to coat. Divide between baking sheets. Bake, stirring occasionally, 1 hour 20 minutes. Let cool on wire racks. Popcorn can be stored in airtight containers up to 1 week.

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. Looks yummy! Can’t wait to try it!

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