Chamoy caramel popcorn is sweet, salty, tangy, spicy and crispy. Chamoy adds many different layers of flavor to the deep sweetness of the caramel. Chamoy caramel popcorn hits every taste sensation in a crispy little package. Enjoy this tasty treat with a margarita, for Cinco de Mayo, game day, or a picnic.
What is Chamoy?
Chamoy is a very popular Mexican condiment made from dried fruit, dried chilis, hibiscus flowers, salt and lime. It can be a sauce, a powder and even a paste. It touches all the flavor profiles – sweet, salty, tangy and spice. You’ll find it drizzled over fruit, mixed in drinks, on the rim of beer cans and in candies.
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- Popcorn: You can use air-popped, unflavored microwave popcorn, or stovetop popcorn (make my perfect stovetop popcorn).
- Granulated Sugar: Also known as white sugar.
- Water: To dissolve the sugar.
- Homemade chamoy: Here is my homemade chamoy recipe that I used in this recipe.
- Butter: This recipe calls for unsalted butter. If you’re using salted butter, omit the salt from this recipe.
- Baking soda: Gives the caramel a soft and airy texture.
- Salt: Salt, in small amounts, enhances the taste and flavor of sweetness.
PREPARE THE POPCORN
Step 1: Make 8 cups of popcorn. I prefer stovetop popcorn (see my recipe for perfect stovetop popcorn here), but you can use air-popped or unseasoned microwave popcorn. Use 1/4 cup popcorn kernels to make 10 cups of popcorn.
Step 2: Make sure to remove all un-popped kernels.
Step 3: Place popcorn in a large bowl and set aside.
Step 4: Preheat the oven to 250°F.
Step 5: Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat baking mat.
MAKE THE CARAMEL
Step 6: Add sugar and water to medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.
Step 7: Let boil, swirling the pan occasionally, until caramel turns light golden-brown color, about 6-7 minutes.
ADD THE CHAMOY
Step 8: Remove from heat. Stir in chamoy and butter (mixture will bubble and may splatter).
Step 9: Return to heat and bring to a boil. Cook another 1-2 minutes.
Step 10: Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and salt.
COMBINE POPCORN AND CHAMOY CARAMEL SAUCE
Step 11: Pour chamoy caramel over popcorn and toss to coat.
Step 12: Spread popcorn out onto prepared baking sheet and bake, tossing every 15 minutes, until dry, about 30-45 minutes.
Step 13: Let cool. Break apart and enjoy!
TIPS & TRICKS
- Watch the heat. Keep the heat at medium-high. I found that if I boil caramel at too high a heat, it can burn really quickly. (or maybe it’s just me?)
- Step away from the pan. When you add the butter and chamoy, the hot sugar mixture will splatter and spurt. Hot sugar on skin can cause serious burns, so step away from the pan for a moment until it’s safe.
- Make your own chamoy. Store bought chamoy is full of artificial flavors and colors. Homemade is healthier and tastes so much better than anything you buy in the store!
How Long Does Chamoy Caramel Popcorn Last?
If stored properly, chamoy caramel popcorn can stay fresh for up to 2 weeks. For the best results, make sure the popcorn has completely cooled, store it in an air-tight container and keep it in a cool, dry place.
How To Store Chamoy Caramel Popcorn
There’s not usually much left to store when I make this, but when there is, I put it either in a Ziploc bag or a glass food storage container.
Read my article here for more information on the shelf-life of popcorn.
Can I Freeze Chamoy Caramel Popcorn?
Yes! You can freeze caramel popcorn in an airtight container (I use Ziploc bags) for up to a year. When you’re ready to eat it just leave it out to bring it to room temperature.
How Do You Make Chamoy Caramel Popcorn Crispy Again?
If it has lost some of its crispiness, you can crisp it up in the oven. Put the caramel popcorn on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake the caramel corn at 250ºF, tossing every 15 minutes. You can bake it for up to 60 minutes, depending on how crispy you want it.
OTHER POPCORN RECIPES
Chamoy Caramel Popcorn
- 8 cups popped popcorn
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup chamoy
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Prepare 8 cups of popcorn (use 1/4 cups popcorn kernels), put in bowl and set aside (see my recipe for the perfect stovetop popcorn here).
- Preheat oven to 250°F.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.
- Add sugar and water to medium saucepan.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.
- Let boil, swirling the pan occasionally, until it turns a light golden-brown color, about 6-7 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add in chamoy and butter. The mixture will start to bubble vigorously so be careful!
- Once the butter and chamoy are incorporated into sugar, return pan to heat.
- Return to a boil and let boil for about 1 minute.
- Remove from heat. Stir in salt and baking soda. The mixture will get foamy and bubble up.
- Carefully (it's very hot!) pour caramel mixture over popcorn and gently stir together until popcorn is evenly coated.
- Using a spatula, spread chamoy caramel popcorn in an even layer on to a baking sheet.
- Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to get the caramel to evenly coat the popcorn.
- Remove from oven and let popcorn cool completely before breaking apart.