Take your movie munching to the next level with this irresistible Chocolate Drizzled Popcorn. This sweet and salty snack is tossed in a caramel glaze and drizzled with melted chocolate for a decadent popcorn treat.
How to Make Chocolate Caramel Popcorn
Family Fun Night is every Friday night in our household, which means a night filled with pizza, dessert, a movie, and always popcorn. Making this delicious chocolate-drizzled popcorn is a fun family activity to do just before settling down to a movie.
This recipe is easy enough my kids can help and they can choose to add whatever additional ingredients they want to toss in.
Time needed: 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Whether you want to make fresh stovetop popcorn, pop it in the microwave, or cut down on the prep by using pre-made popcorn I’ll show you how.
- Prepare the Popcorn
Cook your popcorn using your preferred method of either popping it in the microwave, cooking it on the stove, or using pre-made bagged popcorn (for stovetop directions click here).
- Make Caramel Sauce
In a large saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and baking soda.
- Bake Popcorn
Pour the caramel sauce over the popcorn and toss to coat evenly. Bake, uncovered at 250℉ for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
- Make Chocolate Drizzle
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate chips. Drizzle on top of the caramel corn and toss to coat. Keep stored in a cool place.
Ingredients in Chocolate Caramel Popcorn
This decadent treat, similar to moose munch, can also be referred to as a gourmet caramel popcorn recipe. First, the popcorn is drenched in a homemade caramel sauce and then baked so the caramel hardens into a candy shell. Chocolate sauce is then drizzled on top for a sweet flavored finish.
- Oil: you need a good quality oil such as olive oil if you’re going to make the popcorn using the stovetop method. Try to choose an oil that does not have flavors such as peanut, grapeseed, or safflower.
- Popcorn: if making the popcorn on the stovetop you’ll need to use kernels, but microwave popcorn or pre-made popcorn will also work for this recipe.
- Brown Sugar:
- Corn Syrup
- Baking Soda
How to Make Stovetop Popcorn
There are a couple of stovetop popcorn methods, such as Alton Brown’s, but one of the easiest is detailed below. Don’t be upset if you burn some popcorn the first time you try to make it on the stove. You’ll quickly get the technique down and become a pro.
- Using a heavy-bottomed pan (that also has a lid for later use) heat the oil.
- Keep the temperature set to medium heat during the cooking process so the oil doesn’t smoke and cause the popcorn to have a burnt taste.
- Test the heat first using 2 kernels of corn. Once the kernels pop the oil is ready to make the popcorn.
- During the cooking process keep the lid tipped slightly. This helps the popcorn remain crispy after it’s popped.
- If the popcorn begins to overflow, remove the lid and scoop out some of the popcorn into a bowl.
FAQ’s for Making Chocolate Drizzled Popcorn
Which type of popcorn is best?
This largely comes down to preference and how you’d like the end result to taste.
I prefer to make my popcorn fresh by using the stovetop method, which creates a more crunch type of popcorn. However, if you prefer a softer version I recommend the microwave popcorn in a bag. For a chewier popcorn, the pre-made kind in a bag is what you’ll want to use. Below are some of my preferred brands to use.
- These are my favorite popcorn kernels to use.
- This is a good microwave popcorn for this recipe.
- For bagged popcorn, I like to use this brand.
Can I add additional flavor?
Absolutely! I recommend it even. As I mentioned above this is a simpler version of a moose munch, which also has peanuts and can sometimes include a white chocolate drizzle. Below are some more add-ins you can also toss into this sweet and salty snack.
- Shredded Coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
- Butterscotch Chips: these morsels can be tossed in with the popcorn or melted in a small saucepan and then drizzled on top.
- White Chocolate Chips: toss these chips into the mix or melt them too and drizzle on top.
- Crushed Pretzels
- Nuts: adding salted peanuts will really compliment the mixture, however, you can add a combination of nuts or your favorite kind.
- Dried Fruit: adding in dried cranberries would make a nice trail mix type snack.
- Cinnamon Roasted Pecans: these will make a sweet and crunchy addition to the mixture.
How do I get that thick perfect chocolate drizzle?
The images in this post show a version of the chocolate drizzled popcorn that is more evenly coated. If you would like to achieve that perfect thicker drizzle you can do so easily.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of butter to the chocolate chips when melting. Then use a spoon to scoop out some chocolate and let it slide off the edge as you move the spoon back and forth across the popcorn.
Can I leave off the chocolate drizzle?
Sure! If you want to make a simple gourmet caramel popcorn recipe just follow the steps below and leave the chocolate off.
- Make the sauce: In a large saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and baking soda.
- Coat Popcorn: Pour the caramel sauce over the popcorn and toss to coat evenly.
- Bake: Bake, uncovered at 250℉ for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
How to Store the Popcorn
This recipe can be stored in an air-tight container or ziplock bag. The keep the chocolate from softening it’s best to keep it in a cooler place such as a dark pantry.
Can I use candy melts?
Of course! If you’re making this recipe for a specific holiday or event and want to use colored candy melts you can.
Tips for Melting the Chocolate
- Microwave Method: you can easily melt the chocolate in the microwave. To do this set your microwave to medium powder and melt in 20-second incriminates so the chocolate doesn’t burn.
- Add butter or oil before melting. By adding 1 tablespoon of butter or oil to the chocolate chips you’ll get a smooth mixture that drizzles easily and won’t scorch during the heating process.
- To quickly harden the chocolate drizzle place the sheet pan in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes.
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 cup Popcorn Kernels
- 1 cup Brown Sugar packed
- 1/2 cup Butter cubed
- 1/4 cup Corn Syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, over medium heat, add the olive oil and only 2 popcorn kernels. Cover the pot with a lid and wait for the kernels to pot (it may be a minute or 2).
- Once the kernels pop, remove the pot from the heat and let cool for 1 minute. Add the remaining popcorn kernels, shake to coat in the oil, and return to the heat and cover with the lid. Once the kernels begin to pop, angle the lid of the pot to release the steam.
- Continue cooking until there are only a few pops per second. Quickly dump the popcorn into a large bowl. If there are a bunch of remaining kernels return the pot to the heat.
- Preheat the oven to 250 ℉. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt; bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla and baking soda. Spread the stovetop popcorn on the baking sheet and pour the caramel sauce on top. Toss to coat evenly. Cook 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate chips. Drizzle on top of the caramel corn and toss to coat. Keep stored in a cool place.