Thursday, February 24, 2011

Vanilla Popcorn

There used to be this place called Orange Julius in our mall for the longest time. Ever since I can remember it was there. They sold all kinds of popcorns, ice cream treats, milkshakes, and of course Orange Julius. Which makes me think about this recipe that I wanna try. Everytime we went to the mall, which wasn't that often, I HAD to have their Vanilla Popcorn. It was always colored. Around Mardi Gras it would be purple, green, and yellow, around Halloween it would be orange; green and red for Christmas and so on. It was my favorite snack as a kid. 

Vanilla Popcorn
Picture from Google search.

Some while back, they closed it down, and replaced it with another store similar to it, but they didn't sell the popcorns. Just the popcorn in the bag like at a carnival. I was not a happy camper. So, for years and years, I have been wanting and craving this popcorn. 

About a year or so ago, my mom and I ran across a recipe for a similar popcorn. It was the kind of recipe where you need to boil the sugar and what not on the stove to a certain temperature, and I was kinda intimidated. So, I never made it. 

THEN, I came along Our Best Bites' recipe for Caramel Corn. It looked so easy, I thought, if I mess it up, oh well. It was worth a shot. So, I did. And it turned out so dang YUMMY! I made it a few more times before the light bulb went off in my head to make a vanilla version. I went for it! And it turned out equally yummy! I brought my first batch to our monthly girls game night. Verdict? They requested I bring it again. Score! 

So, here is my version of Vanilla Popcorn!!

12 cups popped popcorn (about 1/2 C kernels) - I use Orville Redenbacher's Tender White. I'm not sure how the buttery popcorn would work here. 
1 cup white granulated sugar
1/4 cup white corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt (if you are using salted microwave popcorn then omit salt here)
 - The Tender White is lightly salted, so I don't use salt.
1 stick real butter
 - Don't skimp here! I use unsalted.
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
 - You could put an addt'l 1/2 tsp if you want to amplify the vanilla, but 1 tsp is plenty for me.

Pop popcorn and set aside. Place sugar, corn syrup, salt, and butter in a microwave safe dish.  Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir to combine. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir again. Microwave for 2 more minutes.

Meanwhile, put the popcorn in the biggest bowl you have. You will regret it if you don't. Remove any un-popped kernels. 

When the caramel is done, take out of microwave. Add baking soda and vanilla. Stir until it starts to foam a little bit, and gets thick. Pour over popcorn. Mix well with a big spoon. Try and get as much of the popcorn covered as you can. Work quickly, because it does start to harden quite fast. 

You could take it just like this, spread it out on some foil, let it harden a little bit, and eat it just like that. It will be gooey and firm, but it won't be crunchy.

To make it crunchy, like I like it, you need to bake it. Spread the popcorn out on a cookie sheet or two. Bake either at 200 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes, or at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  If you choose the latter, keep an eye on it towards the end of cooking time to avoid over cooking. (This is what I do: I bake at 300 for 10 minutes, then stir, and for about 6 more minutes. Sometimes I do just the 10 minutes. Either way, it will be crunchy.) It is VERY easy to burn the sugar. Believe me...been there. 

And there you have yummy vanilla popcorn! Enjoy!


  1. I've done this before too! Once I was out of brown sugar and I made it with all white and it was sooo good. Love it!

  2. Yum! I used to work at Orange Julius (EONS) ago. I crave their popcorn still. I totally understand how you feel.

    I have heard that having popcorn bars at parties and weddings is a growning new trend. It would be fun to try different flavors and serve this.

    Love this idea. I think I will definitly try it for family movie night tonight. (Only in the name of research...not becuase it sounds SOOOO good.) I think the kids will LOVE it. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Drooooooooool!
    thx for sharing!
    would love you to stop in and share here too:

  4. YUM!! That sounds super good! I think I may have to try it this weekend! Thanks for sharing! Visiting from the Girl Creative.

  5. Mmm, this sounds delicious. I have a recipe for strawberry popcorn (made with jello mix) that I have been wanting to try. This version looks so tasty.

  6. As a taste tester on Girls Night, I gotta admit this stuff is DELISH! I ask for it all the time. It is super good. Believe me!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe, although I hope this doesn't mean you won't stop bringing it!

  7. I can't wait to try this, thanks for sharing!

  8. I've never heard of vanilla popcorn. This sounds really good. Thanks for sharing this recipe and showing yet another variety to this thing called popcorn!


  9. I'm a fan of popcorn and can't wait to try this recipe.

  10. That sounds really delicious. I remember orange julius....but only for the drink....I guess I missed out on the popcorn!! I would love it if you would link this up to my blog party, A Marvelous Mess!! One project from each party will be featured on my sidebar for a week!! Here is the link:

  11. Wonderful. Can't wait to try it. Thanks for the recipe. Also, you are the only person I know that still remembers Orange Julius in the mall!!! I smiled when I read it. I have a BETTER recipe that I make ALL the time!!! My boys love it and think it is the biggest treat. It's soooo easy!

    6 oz OJ concentrate (1/2 of a can)
    1 cup water
    1 cup milk
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    about 15 ice cubes
    Blend in blender!!

  12. Thanks everyone for the lovely comments!

    Sara - I can't wait to try the Cinnamon Roll version!

    Mom - Of course I will still bring it. =)

    Kerrie - Thank you for that recipe...I'm gonna have to try both now!

  13. I have been eyeing this link in the party list the whole weekend, I SO wanted to read what this was all about - I love Vanilla and I love Popcorn, combine the two - LOVE. Thank you so much for the recipe - it doesn't seem too hard and is making my mouth water, I am seriously craving this now! I am definitely going to try this! :)
    Thanks for linking with Saturday Spotlight!

  14. It is so yummy. I promise. It goes QUICK. Lol!

  15. I'm a huge fan of flavored popcorn. I'm an even bigger fan of anything vanilla. I'm an even bigger, bigger fan of Our Best Bites. I have all the ingredients on hand for this. So excited to try it.

  16. I love popcorn... I love vanilla.. I will have to try this soon!!! Here’s another party if you would like to link up…

  17. I made this and loved it! It should be called crack popcorn though.

  18. Love your yummy creativity, thanks for linking up to my blog bash K.I.S.S. @ The Tattered Tag. Please link up more of your great ideas tomorrow. Happy to be a new follower :)

    Drop by The Tattered Tag

  19. Made this tonight for a bake sale (and a batch for Wii Family Fun night at our house) and WOW! is it good. And super easy. And I even made the popcorn from scratch. Like a previous poster, my husband called it "Crack Popcorn." Thanks for sharing!