A delicious snack to bring to the party or for snackin at home to soothe a sweet tooth. Rosemary-Stout Salted Caramel Popcorn comes together in about 20 minutes. Consider making a double batch if you want to share! Get out your candy thermometer. We’re making candy!
Salted Caramel Popcorn is Ready!
To celebrate this, and St. Paddy’s Day (are you wearing your green?), I made us some tasty Rosemary-Stout Salted Caramel Popcorn.
And who doesn’t love popcorn?
This recipe is so simple. It’s not just for your second cousin twice removed during the holidays. It’s a tasty treat to take to a party, share with friends or just nibble on to soothe that sweet tooth anytime of year.
I pop corn with coconut oil because it’s is a high heat oil, doesn’t oxidize at higher cooking temperatures, and tastes amazing paired with popped corn. So after you take five minutes to pop the corn and then eat it all because you just can’t control yourself, well, you’re just going to have to make another batch. That’s all I have to say about that.
Ingredients for Carmel Popcorn
With a short list of ingredients, you can whip this up in no time. Here’s what you’ll need to pull this candy corn together (see recipe card for details):
- Popping Corn – buy in bulk for best value
- Cane and Brown Sugar
- Brown Rice Syrup – find on the baking isle
- Sea Salt
- Coconut Oil
- Stout Beer – sub water for alcohol free and gluten free
- Fresh Rosemary
You’ll need a candy thermometer here to test the temperature of the caramel. I like this instant read thermometer. It’s ideal for making Freezer Jam, any kind of candy and taking the internal temperature of Sourdough Bread!
Quick Guide: How to Make Salted Caramel Popcorn
Making sure you have all your tools and ingredients measured and on the ready before starting will ensure a lower stress experience when making this recipe. Rosemary-Stout Salted Caramel Popcorn comes together in about 20 minutes yet attention is needed for all four phases of the cooking process (see recipe for details):
- First, you’ll pop the corn
- Second, cook the sugar, syrup and beer. This is your caramel.
- Next, pour the caramel over the popcorn and stir.
- Last, cool the caramel popcorn and then, pull the individual pieces of popcorn apart.
So stay focused here. Now’s not the time to make a cocktail, fold laundry or get on Instagram.
I know you’re wondering.. can you taste the Stout? Maybe undertones of its coffee-toffee notes, but mostly what comes through in this recipe is the caramel and rosemary. It’s sublime.
A Few Recipe Tips
- You’ll need a candy thermometer here to test the temperature of the caramel. I like this instant read thermometer. It’s fast, accurate and durable.
- Use your largest stock pot. I use a 10 quart to pop the corn and to mix the caramel and popcorn together.
- Gluten Free and/or Vegan? Look for gluten free/vegan stout beer or sub water for the stout.
- For best value, look for popcorn in the bulk bins.
Rosemary-Stout Salted Caramel Popcorn Recipe
- 1/3 C + 1 Tbs Organic Popping Corn* 142g
- 6 Tbs Coconut Oil virgin, unrefined, melted and divided
- 2/3 C Granulated Cane Sugar 142g
- 1/2 C Dark Brown Sugar 100g
- 1/4 C Brown Rice Syrup 86g
- 1/4 C Stout Beer** 64g
- 1 tsp + 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 2 Tbs Fresh Rosemary finely chopped
- To prepare you will need a candy thermometer, 2 silpat lined sheet pans or lightly sprayed parchment paper, a 10 quart stock pot, a 4 quart stock pot, long wooden spoon and a silicon spatula.
To Pop the Corn:
- In a large 10 quart stock-pot, turn the heat to medium-high. Add 3 Tbs coconut oil and popping corn. Put a lid on it and give it a good shake so that all the kernels are covered in oil. Stay close by. Once the kernels begin to pop, about 2 1/2 minutes, give the pot a good shake making sure to hold the lid in place. Turn the heat to medium while the corn continuities to pop. Give the pan a shake a few times while the corn pops. As the popping starts to slow, at about 4 minutes, turn the heat off and give the pot another shake. Once the popping has almost stopped, remove the lid and stir the popcorn with a wooden spoon. Set aside. *If you have un-popped kernels remove the popped corn with a measuring cup, locate the unpopped corn and discard it. Place the popped corn back into the 10 quart pot.
For the Rosemary Stout Caramel:
- In a medium 4 quart sauce-pot add the sugars, syrup, beer and salt. Cook on high, uncovered. Give the pan a gentle swirl to mix, then let the sugar cook to 280F (140C) without stirring. It will boil and get very hot, so be careful here. It will take about 6-7 minutes to come up to temperature. Once up to 280F (140C), add the remaining 3 Tbs coconut oil and rosemary and stir with a silicon spatula. Remove it immediately from the heat.
- Pour the caramel over the popcorn using a silicon spatula to scrape the caramel sauce out of the pot. Use a long wooden spoon to immediately (it starts cooling down fast!) start incorporating the caramel and the popcorn, stirring confidently using a scooping and turning over motion to cover each pop of corn. Continue stirring until the mixture becomes difficult to stir then pour out onto prepared sheet-pans. The popcorn will begin cooling immediately and as soon as it's cooled enough to handle, quickly start working the pieces apart by gently separating the pieces. Be careful here with the chunky pieces and only handle the outer pieces as there may be some hot sugar lurking!
- Store in a covered container with a small bowl of 1 Tbs of rice. The rice will pull any moisture away from the popcorn helping to keep the popcorn fresher longer.
Guinness is now vegan. They changed their filter methods last year. I’m a vegan brewer and keep up on the beer trends. Will be trying this recipe with my English Brown Ale
This is great news Eric! Thank you for sharing! I hope you enjoy the recipe!
MAY I USE AN AIR POPPER?
I NOT GOING TO USE WATER OR BEER DON’T LIKE CARMEL.
Hi Lonalee! I’ve never used an air popper to pop popcorn, only stove top, so I’m not sure. If you’re popping with air alone, and you still want to use coconut oil, just melt the coconut oil after you pop the corn and drizzle it over the popped corn. It looks like you’re having the popcorn without the caramel?
That looks beyond delicious! I’m pinning.
This popcorn pops the top! My friend, who is a bit of a picky eater, literally demolished half of the batch in moments! This recipe is creative, fast, unique, and a satisfying snack. It was a real treat to top of our idyllic walk on the Prairie by making this together! Thanks so much for inviting me to cook with you. I can’t wait for your new cooking advice feature!
Yayayaya!! Lynne, it WAS so fun! Looking forward to our next popcorn adventure and walk! So happy you two enjoyed it! xo
Beeta @ Mon Petit Four
Traci, I just want to dive into this salted caramel popcorn!!! Wowzers!! This looks so good! I am so making this before my next movie night! Bravo!! <3
P.S. So happy the Dark Act failed! :D
It’s soooo good, Beeta. I have to give most of it away, else I have little self control on this one! Movie night? I’m in! xo
I love it, Traci! Rosemary and caramel and popcorn- what a treat! Pairing a little savory with a little sweet is so much fun. The food industry is so complicated and difficult to navigate sometimes, but I agree that it’s so important to understand because it directly affects our health. Thanks for sharing all of those links- I found the Time one interesting. Scary how many GMOs are out there!
Such a treat and surprisingly fast to whip up! Getting the ingredients together took longer than cookin this up! No doubt there’s complexity. That’s one reason I like buying directly from farms or having a CSA. No doubt.. all those GMOs lurking. I hope you enjoy this Emily!
All sorts of magic with this popcorn. Great step by step pics too, Traci. Last year I visited the Guinness factory in Ireland. So fascinating, the process. It adds an almost caramel- toffee-ish flavour to all kinds of food. This recipe is going to be lethal…..
Thank you Di! You visited the factory? Did you have plenty to drink? I hope you enjoy this my dear!
I haven’t heard of Beyond the Seal, but I’ve read so much about how Cavendish banana crops might not make it for long. It’s why I’ve started to diversify the types of bananas I get at the supermarket, and I try my best to make sure that the bananas are organic or fair trade. I know this may be a bit hoighty toighty to other people, but it’s the least I can do to make more responsible food decisions. Anyway, thank you so much for talking about these food issues on your blog!
Now, for this popcorn, it looks absolutely wonderful. I just want a big bowl of this right now!
The grocery stores I shop at only carry the one variety of Cavendish… and although I’ve seen plantaines before, I don’t think they’re on the regular. I’ve not seen apple bananas. It’s time I request others, right? No doubt, food impacts our lives and environment every day. We all need it, so knowing about our food system, where food comes from and how it’s grown allows us to make more informed choices about what we eat. I hope you enjoy that popcorn, Lisa!
Claudia | The Brick Kitchen
Traci these are so unique – I can just imagine the awesome depth of flavour in the rosemary-stout combo, and the salted caramel. Such a perfect snack for when you have people round! Gorgeous photos too. <3
Thank you Claudia! Fun to share, indeed! The rosemary is fabulous in this! :D
Raquel @ My California Roots
Traci this looks so good! I’ve been wanting to make caramel corn for SO LONG but just have never gotten around to it. But I can never resist anything with beer or rosemary, so I might just have to try it :)
Thank you Raquel! DO IT!!
Wonderful news, but just like you, I wonder for how long… On a positive note, this popcorn sounds all kinds of delicious! Although I prefer organic beer because most beers use GMO ingredients, including Guinness. Crazy world we live in! :(
I’ve learned a lot about Guinness in this post, ECP! Thank you for your note. I didn’t realize barley was a GMO. :( I’ve got some homework to do! :D
Mary @ Fit and Fed
I was happy to hear the good news about the Dark Act too! Stout-infused caramel? Wow, this is up there for most creative St. Patrick’s Day recipe, and definitely for most gourmet popcorn ever (rosemary too)!
Thank you Mary! The rosemary really shines in this recipe. Good news indeed! :D
Rebecca | DisplacedHousewife
How/why is Guinness not vegan?! I’m dying to know the details… This looks so delicious and I have some Guinness leftover from my stout cake…this is happening Traci!!! xo
Hey Rebecca! Apparently fish bladder is used to filter the brew. Guinness is phasing this out, but not until late 2016. So until then, it’s not vegan. Leftover stout from cake?! A perfect use for this! I hope you enjoy it my dear! xo
Rebecca | DisplacedHousewife
Fish bladder makes Guinness sound so less attractive!! ?
I’m so glad it was voted down, I signed the petition, let’s see what they bring next ! This popcorn looks perfect! Such a creative idea and great flavors! Pinning to try it, I’m sure everyone will love it!
Hooray, right?! Thank you Mira and your pin! :D
Well this is a treat I didn’t know I needed until now! Hubby and I go through a lot of popcorn – usually it’s Skinny Pop…so this…this would be the filet mignon of popcorn! Thanks for passing along word about Beyond The Seal…I’ve been watching Cooked, by Michael Pollen – have you seen it? It’s informative, disheartening, interesting and entertaining. How’s that for a critique? I think you’d like it. Have a lovely weekend, my friend!
Hey Annie! Hehe… Thank you! Haven’t seen Cooked yet, but it’s on the list! I’m looking forward to it… No doubt, learning about what’s happening with regards to our food system, and environment is sometimes hard to receive. But how are we to do something about it if we don’t understand the situation? We all have a role to play, ya know? :D
Aysegul D Sanford
Okay, first off I have to say that I am glad you are bringing everyone’s attention to the politics behind the food industry. The GMO industry is a very controversial one and I find it really fascinating. So thank you for that.
Secondly, I love when bloggers share their favorite foodie related reads and watchs. I have to watch Beyond the Seal. We have been watching the new documentary series of Michael Pollen, Cooked, on Netflix. It is really interesting, if you have not seen.
Last but not least, how awesome is this salted caramel popcorn Traci. Though I have to admit, I am not sure if I can wait that long at the end. It looks so so yummy.
Beautifully photographed as well… Cheers my friend.
Happy to hear you’re digging in to GMOs and learning more, Aysegul. There’s soooo much money and misinformation behind their pus. The science is clear. I love documentaries and I can’t wait to watch Cooked. It’s on the list! Michael Pollen is brilliant! Thank you for your kind words.. this is quiet addicting! xo
Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life
Popcorn is a love food in my family. My Mum always has bags of it ready to go for family movie nights (we don’t have GMO corn here in Australia I’m pretty sure) and they are truly my guilty pleasure. Even better is when I make our own caramel corn from scratch :) I can’t wait to try this twist on it, especially since I’m having a Lord of the Rings marathon afternoon for my birthday next weekend! (#nerdlife)
Oh you’re so fortunate not to have them in Australia. I hope they never come to your country, Amy. So sweet of your mum to have bags on the ready.. a guilty pleasure for sure! Hooray for a Lord of the Rings marathon for your birthday! Sounds like fun! :D
Julie@Cooks with Cocktails
Freeking great idea Traci! Caramel corn with rosemary! I am so down with this…. I also love that you are writing about GMO’s and trying to educate people about the dangers of these “foods”. Its SO important and something I think about every day and especially when I am choosing the food I feed to my family. I cant control what they eat outside of our house, but I’ll be damned if they will eat that crap at home :)
:D Thank you Julie! You said it… It *IS* important and something that we all, as consumers of food, need to be aware of. For me, it’s not only a personal health issue, but an environmental one too. Those things wreak havoc on the environment! No doubt, we don’t eat em either!
Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen
The GMO thing is so sneaky, Traci – it’s everywhere. I’m so glad consumers are pushing back and thanks so much for all this useful info – without voices like yours a lot of people wouldn’t be aware of the issue – I know I wasn’t. And, yes, please to this delicious popcorn – you’ve used stout – how inventive is that! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Thaank you, Geraldine! I appreciate your comments and am happy to have shed some light on the GMO issues for you. A sweet treat with a little booze? I’d love to share this with you! xo
Dang!! I was so excited to see your recipe say glutwn-ftee, but then cried as I read Guinness Stout. Definitely not gluten free… may want to change that on your recipe!!
Hi Marsha! I changed it as soon as I realized it. Thank you for your note! Not being GF myself, I have more things to learn about it. You can sub water for the beer in this recipe.
Not to be the broken record, but please remember Guinness isn’t vegan, nor vegetarian, for at least another year. There are several other stouts out that are, however!
Hi Gretchen! Thank you for your note, I didn’t know. Can you suggest a brand or two that meets vegetarian or vegan standards? I’ll make a note of it!
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
I was so excited when I got the email saying that it was voted down! Yahoo! Loving this caramel corn today Traci! What great flavors! I’m very curious to try it out. Caramel corn has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid. My grandmother always LOVED it!
Yahoo, right? Surprising given the state of our congress, but hey, I’ll take it! I really love how the rosemary shines in this recipe! I hope you enjoy it Mary Ann!
Abby @ Heart of a Baker
Can you believe I still haven’t cooked with brown rice syrup? Ack!! I love that you not only but booze in this popcorn, but caramel too, yum! So much admiration to you Tracy for your devotion to food issues, you are making me realize how much more educated I need to be :) xo
Hey Abby… I had to do a double take with your new name! Love it! Get some BRS and replace that clear stuff in every recipe you have. You’ll never know it! Thank you for your kind words my dear! xo
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
Yayyy so glad the dark act was voted down, Traci! Virtual high five for sure… followed by a happy dance! This caramel corn sounds amazing!! Loving the rosemary and stout, but I’m glad you can only taste the nuances of it.. makes me think I can eat an entire vat of this and not be overwhelmed with the flavor. This is some fancy caramel corn, and nothing like the stuff I’m used to receiving in the mail around the holidays! I need to send this link over to my relatives! ;) Going to check out Beyond the Seal, so thanks for the suggestion! Pinned! Cheers, dear!
P.s. I’m sorry you didn’t win BHG, I voted for you and in my mind you ARE the winner. Xoxo
Yayaya!! Right?! Me too, Chey! Oh no… it’s not like my Bourbon Pecan Pie where the booze shines. It’s very subtle, almost just blends right in with the caramely flavor. Beyond the Seal takes a bit of time, but it’s quite revealing and has me thinking about the way I view organic vs fairtraid… beyond the seal. My local farmers don’t have an organic or fair trade seal but they are both. Time well spent for sure. Thank you for your support Chey!! xo