This big batch of chocolate caramel corn made with caramel-covered popcorn and peanuts, a drizzle of dark chocolate, and sprinkling of flaky salt is exactly what you need to get your holiday party started!

This recipe is sponsored by Eagle Brand®.

Caramel corn will always be one of my favorite treats to serve during the holidays. It’s easy to make, it makes a ton, and there’s no one that can resist it!

And because the holiday season is a time to indulge in the most irresistible crowd-pleasing desserts, I’ve taken my favorite soft and gooey caramel corn and added dark chocolate, peanuts and flaky salt to make this chocolate caramel corn. It’s the perfect combination of salt and sweet, soft and chewy, and it’s the perfect sweet snack for the holidays and year-round.

Making chewy caramel popcorn

Chocolate Caramel Corn Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to gather to make this chocolate caramel corn:

  • Popped popcorn— I love my stove top popper, but you can also use an air popper and even microwave popcorn.
  • Butter
  • Light corn syrup
  • Brown sugar— you can use light or dark
  • Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • Peanuts— I like to use lightly salted “cocktail” peanuts
  • Semi-sweet chocolate
  • Flaky or coarse salt— for sprinkling

Why use sweetened condensed milk?

Sweetened condensed milk is perfect for this simple stove top caramel recipe because it keeps the caramel nice and thick, it adds sweetness, and it helps prevent sugar crystallization (which creates a grainy texture). The caramel is rich, creamy and smooth, and the most incredible topping for popcorn!

I’ve trusted Eagle Brand® in my recipes for years, and chances are you’ve seen it on your store shelf and used it too. It contains just two ingredients— milk and sugar. That’s it! It’s dense, rich, and sweet, and it’s perfect for dessert recipes and it’s used in everything from pie, to ice cream, and cookies.

Making chewy caramel popcorn

How to make Chocolate Caramel Corn

It really is quite simple to make:

  1. Pop popcorn however you like, just be sure to remove all un-popped kernels!
  2. Make the caramel sauce on the stove in just 15 minutes.
  3. Combine caramel with popcorn and peanuts on a few sheet pans or in a large bowl.
  4. Spread caramel corn out on wax paper or parchment.
  5. Melt and drizzle dark chocolate onto the caramel corn.
  6. Finish with a sprinkle of salt.

Crunchy or soft, you decide!

I prefer this chocolate caramel corn soft and chewy (and that’s what I’ve shown in these photos), but it also works to make it crunchy. Both ways are equally delicious and snackable, and the recipe below has instructions for both. It’s completely up to you!

Perfect for Entertaining

As I’ve mentioned, this chocolate caramel corn is great for any parties or potlucks you have coming up during the holidays, and all year long. It makes a really big batch that can easily feed about 20 people.

If your gathering is smaller, feel free to cut the recipe ingredients in half. But I would recommend erring on the side of having too much rather than too little. It will disappear faster than you think!

This big batch of chocolate caramel corn made with chewy caramel corn, peanuts, a drizzle of dark chocolate, and sprinkling of flaky salt is exactly what you need to get your holiday party started! 

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Chocolate Caramel Corn

This big batch of chocolate caramel corn made with caramel-covered popcorn and peanuts, a drizzle of dark chocolate, and sprinkling of flaky salt is exactly what you need to get your holiday party started!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup popcorn kernels , popped (see Notes)
  • 1 cup lightly salted peanuts
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks, 226 grams)
  • 2 ½ cups light or dark brown sugar (533 grams)
  • 1 cup light corn syrup (312 grams)
  • 14 oz can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 oz semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate , chopped or use chocolate chips
  • Flaky sea salt , for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions

  • Line 2-3 large sheet pans with wax paper or parchment and top with popped popcorn and peanuts.
  • Combine the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until butter is melted and mixture is smooth.
  • Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture should turn a darker color.
  • Remove from heat and add the sweetened condensed milk, salt, and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth.
  • Pour over the popcorn and peanuts and stir to evenly coat the popcorn. Spread caramel corn into an even layer.
  • Melt chocolate in a double boiler on the stove or in a heatproof bowl in the microwave in 30 second bursts. Stir until smooth.

To Make Soft Caramel Corn:

  • Drizzle caramel corn with melted chocolate and sprinkle with flaky salt, if desired. Let sit for 20 minutes before serving, or until chocolate has set.

To Make Crunchy Caramel Corn:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake caramel corn on sheet pans with parchment (do not use wax paper) for about 30 minutes until caramel is crisp and darker brown, stirring a few times.
  • Drizzle caramel corn with melted chocolate and sprinkle with flaky salt, if desired. Let sit for 20 minutes before serving, or until chocolate has set.
  • Store chocolate caramel corn in an airtight container for up to several days.
NOTES:
  • You can pop popcorn per your preference. You can use a stove top popper, air popper, microwave popcorn, etc.
  • If using microwave popcorn, you'll need 3 regular-size bags, popped. Make sure it is plain or lightly salted.
  • Make sure to remove all unpopped kernels from popcorn before combining with caramel.
  • You can also use an XL bowl to combine caramel with popcorn and peanuts.
  • Nutrition information is an estimate.

Nutrition

Calories: 366kcal, Carbohydrates: 63g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 35mg, Sodium: 180mg, Potassium: 150mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 56g, Vitamin A: 374IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 93mg, Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?I’d love to hear about it! Leave a review below or take a photo and tag it on Instagram @completelydelicious with #completelydelicious.

Disclosure: This recipe was created in partnership with Eagle Brand®. Thank you for supporting partnerships with brands I love and believe in, which make Completely Delicious possible. All opinions are always 100% my own. To learn more about Eagle Brand®, you can visit their website. You can also find them on facebookinstagram, and pinterest.