Sweet and salty is a dangerous flavor combination. Think chocolate-covered pretzels, kettle corn, salted caramels, trail mix, etc.
At the top of that list – at least for me – is Chicago-style popcorn. It’s a simple but irresistible duo of caramel popcorn and cheese popcorn, created by and made famous by Garrett Popcorn Shops in Chicago. They seem to know what they’re doing, because the line to get a bag of fresh popcorn is always dozens deep. But so worth it.
About The Recipe
Popcorn is one of the most bang-for-your-buck food options out there. I make homemade popcorn all the time, and never get sick of it. There are so many ways to fancy up popcorn, from making your own popcorn topping, popcorn balls, homemade kettle corn – or making this delicious sweet and savory popcorn mix.
This particular recipe is perfect for:
- Halloween – Chocolate and candy is great, but Chicago-style popcorn is a much more creative treat.
- Your next party – Hosting a party can be expensive, unless you plan your menu right. This is a super cheap snack that your guests will love.
- A party favor - If you’re looking for a low-cost party favor, give your guests a small bag of Chicago-style popcorn as they leave.
I took a tip from Spoon Fork Bacon and bought cheesy popcorn from the grocery store. Although it is possible to make homemade cheese popcorn at home, this is by far the easier option.
Chicago Popcorn Mix Recipe
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 60 min
Money-saving tip: Pop your own popcorn kernels instead of using microwave popcorn.
7 quarts plain popped popcorn
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 bag of cheddar cheese popcorn
Preheat oven to 250F. Place popcorn in a large roasting pan or other large container. Combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until it begins to boil, stirring frequently. Continue to boil for five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add baking soda and vanilla. This will cause the mixture to foam slightly. Immediately pour over popcorn and mix to evenly coat. Place prepared popcorn on two large baking sheets.
Bake for one hour, removing pans every 15 minutes to stir popcorn. Remove popcorn from oven and pour onto parchment paper. Separate popcorn so it doesn't clump together, and allow to cool. Combine caramel corn with cheese corn and serve.
Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.com