We are in the thick of gametime, and if you are a non football (or basketball, or baseball) fan like me. . . well, it’s all about the food! That’s right, I’ll be at your Gametime party in a heartbeat, tasty treat in hand. Just don’t expect me to spend much time watching the game.
This year Walmart is doing a cool Gametime MVP contest. You can read the full Game Time MVP rules on Walmart.com, but here are the basics. Just make your favorite gametime recipe, snap a great picture and then share it on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #WalmartMVPContest.
What could you win? Well what’s up for grabs is a trip to LA to go to the YouTube studios and have a pre-Superbowl party and create content with some YouTube stars (who are also doing their own Game Time Snack challenges) like Cook With April and iJustine!
Walmart asked me to get in on the action with a favorite game time snack. I’m sharing my Homemade Caramel Corn. This stuff is inexpensive, super easy to make, and so delicious! Trust me-bring this to a party once and folks will ask for it every time after that. Put some in a cute container for the holidays and you’ve got easy teacher, hostess or party gifts too.
The first thing you need is popcorn. For the love of all that is good, do not use microwave popcorn in this recipe. Use regular popcorn kernels. Pick yourself up an air popper either new at Walmart, or used at the thrift store. Heck, you could probably ask around and just borrow one from a friend or relative. Mine is about 20 years old (they are really pretty sturdy). Once you’ve got an air popper you can make big bowls of popcorn easily for snacking and movie watching too. Extra bonus? You never wind up with that “burnt popcorn” smell in your microwave–there is NO way to burn it in the air popper!
The recipe calls for 12 cups of popcorn, but I usually just eyeball it. If I have “too much” popcorn it just means it’s a bit more lightly caramel. Too little, and it’s super caramel-y. Either way I’m happy.
You pour the popcorn into two big roasting pans, preheat your oven to 200, and start your caramel. It’s a really easy recipe–butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, and salt all get melted and mixed together in a small pot over medium heat.
Pro tip: Slice up your butter when you put it into the pot to melt. More surface area will make the butter melt more quickly.
Once the mixture starts to bubble you cook it while stirring for 5 minutes. Then you take it off the heat, add some vanilla extract and baking soda and mix in well.
You pour the caramel over the popcorn and mix it up. At first it won’t look very well covered–that’s ok. You are going to cook it in the oven on 250 for 45 minutes and pull it out every 15 to stir it around and coat everything evenly. The caramel will stay soft and get distributed over time while the heat keeps the popcorn from getting soggy.
When it is done, pull it out and let it cool.
Try it and be amazed at how good such simple ingredients can taste. You won’t have to worry about putting away any leftovers after the game, that I can promise you!
- 12 cups unsalted popcorn
- 1 C Brown Sugar packed
- 1/2 C Butter
- 1/4 C Corn Syrup
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
Preheat oven to 200
Split popcorn between two roasting pans
Melt together butter, sugar, corn syrup and salt over medium heat.
When it starts bubbling around the edges, cook for 5 more minutes, stirring.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and then baking soda which will make it foamy.
Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and toss/stir until coated.
Bake 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
Cool completely. Store in a tightly covered container to keep it crisp.
Want some more Game Time recipe inspiration? Head on over to Walmart’s Game Time recipe page. Also check out the delicious snacks my fellow Walmart Moms created.
Disclosure: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received product samples and compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.