Satisfy your sweet tooth with these salted caramel popcorn cookies! They have soft, chewy middles, crispy edges, and crunchy popcorn in every bite. Recipe uses freshly popped popcorn, but for ease butter-flavored microwave popcorn works here too
Hi hi! Just popping in to share the recipe for these Salted Caramel Popcorn Cookies! I know I have a whole bunch of recipes for homemade chocolate chip cookies on my site, but it is always fun to put a little twist on them, such as with these caramel popcorn cookies!
Popcorn is a staple food group of mine - I love making homemade caramel corn and homemade kettle corn, so it only made sense to make a chocolate chip cookie popcorn mashup!
To make these popcorn cookies, I took my favourite salted caramel chocolate chunk cookies recipe to use as a base, and added in popcorn. The cookie has a brown butter base, which pairs so well with the popcorn and caramel. I use the same brown butter / salted caramel combination in my salted caramel tart and salted caramel slice recipes, and also borrow the hard caramel technique from these salted caramel snickerdoodles! I hope you enjoy these popcorn cookies - they are a super fun twist on the classic recipe, and take less than 45 minutes to make, no chill time needed!
How to make Salted Caramel Popcorn Cookies
These easy caramel popcorn cookies are super easy to make:
- Brown the butter. Make this, and set aside to cool slightly while you make the caramel.
- Make the salted caramel. This is a hard caramel, so it is made by melting down sugar until it forms a caramel, then pouring out to set. You can use store bought caramel candies if you do not want to make your own homemade caramel.
- Make the cookie base. This is a super easy cookie recipe that comes together quickly.
- Scoop the dough. Because of the caramel and the popcorn in the cookies, this recipe does not have a chill time - it would make the popcorn go soggy. I scoop as many cookies as I can fit on one pan at once.
- Bake the popcorn cookies. Bake off according to the instructions in the recipe, then leave to cool and enjoy!
Tips for perfect chocolate chip cookies
I have a couple of tips and tricks that help to give perfect chocolate chip cookies every time:
- Use chopped chocolate instead of chocolate chips. I love this because it gives you shards throughout the cookies.
- Add chocolate puddles to the tops of the cookies before baking them, by pressing a little additional chocolate onto the tops of the cookie dough balls.
- Use a cookie scoop. I made these big boi cookies with a #16 scoop which holds ¼ cup of cookie dough. A cookie scoop is a great investment - I use mine all the time. A 2 Tbsp (#40) and a 4 Tbsp (#16) are probably my most used. I like the Norpro ones, or the Oxo ones are nice too.
- Scoot your cookies into shape - The caramel in these gets wild sometimes in the oven when it melts and the cookies can come out mis shapen. If this happens just do a cookie scoot - take a cookie cutter slightly larger than the cookie and use it to scoot it back into place.
Get all my tips and tricks for perfect cookies in my post - how to make perfect chocolate chip cookies
Homemade vs microwave popcorn
I used freshly popped popcorn to make these caramel popcorn cookies, however if you don't want to make your own popcorn at home, store bought popped popcorn would work great, or you could use a butter flavoured popcorn (either from a packet or a microwave bag) here too.
20g doesn't sound like lots of popcorn but popcorn doesn't weigh very much, so trust me here. I popped about ¼ cup of kernels which gave me enough for the cookie and a snack.
For more homemade chocolate chip cookie recipes, check out:
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Answers to your baking questions
Over the years, many of you have asked me questions about:
- baking in grams
- adjusting oven temperatures
- what kind of salt to use
- and many more!
I've curated and answered them all for your easy reference in this frequently asked questions post!
The Best Salted Caramel Popcorn Cookies
- Prep Time: 15 Minutes
- Cook Time: 30 Minutes
- Total Time: 45 Minutes
- Yield: 15 cookies 1x
Satisfy your sweet tooth with these salted caramel popcorn cookies! They have soft, chewy middles, crispy edges, and crunchy popcorn in every bite. Recipe uses freshly popped popcorn, but for ease butter-flavored microwave popcorn works here too!
- 275g unsalted butter, straight from the fridge
- 200g granulated sugar (for the caramel)
- 210g dark brown sugar
- 100g granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 330g all-purpose flour
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 175g dark chocolate, coarsley chopped
- 20g freshly popped popcorn
- Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Line 2-3 baking trays with parchment paper.
- Place the butter in a medium saucepan, and place over medium heat. Cook until the butter has melted, and then continue to cook, swirling the pan often, until the butter foams and turns golden brown and nutty - this should take 3-4 minutes. Transfer the brown butter to the bowl of a stand mixer to cool slightly.
- While the butter is cooling, make the caramel - place the 200g granulated sugar into a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Place a silicone mat on a heat resistant surface (I use my counter) or onto a baking tray, and have nearby.
- Place the sugar in a medium saucepan, and place over medium heat. Heat the sugar, stirring occasionally with a whisk, until all of the sugar has melted (the sugar will clump as you heat, but continue to stir - it will soon smooth out). Continue to cook the caramel until it is amber in colour and just beginning to smoke slightly. Immediately pour onto the prepared silicone mat, and leave to cool while you prepare the cookie dough.
- Place the bowl of the stand mixer with the brown butter onto the mixer, and fit with the paddle attachment. Mix the brown butter, dark brown sugar, and second measure of granulated sugar on medium speed until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla, then increase the mixer speed to high and beat for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture has lightened in colour and thickened.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer off, add to the mixing bowl, then mix on low until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and finish the incorporation of the dry ingredients by hand if needed - scrape down the bowl and ensure that all the mixture at the bottom of the bowl is fully incorporated.
- Carefully peel the caramel sheet off the silicone mat, and place onto the chopping board. Using a sharp knife, cut into chunks ½” to ¾” or smaller in size - there will be some small shards, and larger pieces. Use caution as the shards will be sharp. Add the caramel shards to the bowl along with the chocolate, and mix briefly on low speed to combine.
- Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer and add the popcorn in and incorporate by hand.
- Using a ¼ cup (#16) scoop, place level scoop fulls of dough onto the prepared baking trays 6 per tray works well for me. Roll each into a ball and arrange on the trays, leaving ample room for spreading - place them with a side showing lots of chocolate and popcorn up so that the tops bake up nicely.
- Bake the trays one at a time for 14-15 minutes, or until the cookies are puffed up and set around the edges. Check for doneness at 13 minutes. Remember that they will continue to cook a little once you remove them from the oven.
- If the cookies have lost their round shape a little in the oven due to the caramel, you can use a round cookie cutter slightly larger than the cookie to nudge it back into a circular shape. Sprinkle each cookie with coarse sea salt, then cool on the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Repeat the baking process with the remaining cookies. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.
Keywords: Cookie, Chocolate Chip Cookie, Salted Caramel, Popcorn Cookie, Salted Caramel Popcorn Cookie
These sounds super interesting! For the caramel - is it literally just heating up the granulated sugar that turns it into caramel? Nothing added to the granulated sugar?
Hi! Yep it's just sugar - it is a hard caramel 🙂
Great - thank you!!