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I particularly love this recipe because you’ll need just six ingredients, it’s easy to make, and has just the right amount of of buttery, salty, sweetness. This maple caramel corn has all the nostalgia of your favorite ooey-gooey treat without using corn syrup or white sugar!
The maple syrup adds such incredible flavor, and peanuts or walnuts bring a toasty, savory crunch. And even a healthy does of good fats. Nuts take well to the low temperature, slow baking alongside the popcorn which really brings out their true flavor. But totally option to add nuts!
Yes, you’ll need a candy thermometer to make this caramel corn, but it has a lot of forgiveness, trust me. Just look for an amber color and a 225ish degree F temperature and you’re golden. Literally. ☺️
This recipe is nearly foolproof. I’ve both cooked caramel too far and undercooked it, and because of the maple syrup, it doesn’t crystalize like cane sugar and still turns out!. The addition of baking soda also helps to break up the molecules.
This caramel corn will stay fresh for up to 3 weeks if stored properly, in a sealed container. You can use anything from a metal tin, glass jar, to a ziploc bag. I love gifting it in jars with festive ribbon tied around the top.
My love language is acts of service, likely why I love to cook for people so darn much. Seeing them enjoy something that I created with my own two hands, that will nourish them from the inside out. I seek to please by serving, expressing my love by doing. It fills me with so much joy.
Probably the reason I’ve made four batches of this homemade maple caramel corn to give to friends, and what I’ll be bringing along to a few holiday celebrations. It’s a nice addition to my favorite peppermint crinkle cookies and cheese plates.
Last night I stood in a local store, struggling to come up with gifts for several people, last minute per usual. I’m not good at gift giving, especially when forced. Why do we do this? Gifting. To each other as adults, once a year. Spending hundreds of dollars even when you try to keep things modest.
I just believe there are so many other ways to show love and appreciation as adults. Like time together. Meals together. Experiences together. And giving to organizations that need the support much more than I need a bottle of wine or new shirt.
But. That’s me. And what I force myself to read every year around this time is the love language of gifts, and remember that this is why we spend money and energy during this time of year, finding things for others. It is how they absorb love, and that is so important to remember.
Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. Gifts are visual representations of love and are treasured greatly.
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Please, more recipes like this sans white sugar- this looks incredible! Merry Christmas!!
We’re having a snow day and want to get our Christmas movies going with some of this popcorn. How critical is the coconut oil vs. canola oil?
Canola oil works great to pop the popcorn as well!
Can I make this with puff corn (think butter flavored Cheetos without the cheese)?
Love puff corn! I haven’t tested this recipe with it, but let me know if you do.
I have made traditional caramel corn with mixed nuts for many years and this was perfect. It is so hard to stay out of! Thank you for the recipe!
so glad you like it!
Really good and super simple to make!
So simple and so delicious. Perfect, addictive snack to curl up on the couch with around the holidays.
so glad you liked the maple caramel corn! i just made some too. :)
Would this work if I used sugar free low calorie syrup?
Hi Sarah! Sugar free low calorie syrup has different ingredients therefore chemical properties than pure maple syrup, so it will not react the same in this recipe.
Made this for Halloween, it was delicious! Getting ready to make some more as a Christmas gift. Thanks for the recipe and it’s so easy.
I made this tonight ! Its brilliant…and an easy to do recipe. Not too sweet or sticky. I used cashews instead as that is what I had on hand.
Thank you for the recipe…I will share it.
Wonderful! I’m so glad you liked the recipes. I’ll try it next time with cashews too, that sounds amazing!
Thanks for this recipe! The Hubby & I are preparing to make a couple batches of this….both for ourselves & as gifts. I also LoVe the idea of using Walnuts. Yummy~~~Happy Thanksgiving & Merry Christmas Season!!
Yes, everyone I’ve given this to you has loved it!
Gift giving isn’t my love language either! I really struggled with gifting this holiday season. Sometimes I’m all over it but this year I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind. My love languages include quality time and words of affirmation. Thankfully Robert isn’t a gift giver either, so we actually rarely do gifts for each other. We figured buying a house this year was enough. ha! Happy Holidays to you! xoxo
This looks great! Can I substitute more coconut oil for the butter, or use a little coconut milk? We are dairy free, due to allergies. Thanks and Merry Christmas!
Hi Laura! I haven’t made the caramel without butter, so I’m not sure it would work. I would google vegan caramel corn and I bet you could find something that’s tried and true for dairy-free!
Will do! Thanks Amanda!
I love the love languages way of looking at relationships… it really helped me and my boyfriend to understand each other. Receiving gifts is actually one of mine, but it’s not this rampant materialism, like you said. Done properly, a gift is a symbol of how you’ve thought of someone, considered their desires and needs, and spent time choosing the something for them. Rarely does it have to be elaborate or expensive… just thoughtful :) Happy Holidays, Amanda!