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What’s the Best Way to Enjoy Movie Night? With Homemade Nutty Caramel Popcorn, Of Course

Movie night is always popcorn night. But we’re not having our popcorn any ordinary way. We’re making it sweet and nutty with caramel and sea salt for a sweet-salty indulgence that’s made even better with the addition of any nuts of your choice. In this recipe, we chose local nuts like cashew and pili, both rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Since plain pili nuts usually come already toasted, avoid toasting them again as doing so releases the nut’s oils and may change the texture of your caramel popcorn. 


Nutty Caramel Popcorn 
Serves 6 

  • 6 cups freshly popped corn, about 2/3 cup unpopped?
  • 1 cup cashews, toasted?
  • 1 cup plain roasted pili nuts 
  • 2 cups sugar 
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt?
  • 2 tablespoons butter?
  • 2/3 cup water?
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 

1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place popped corn and nuts in a bowl large enough for mixing. Set aside. 
2. Place sugar, salt and butter in a large pot, with enough room when the caramel foams. Pour water along the sides of the pot to moisten the sugar. Cover and cook over low heat until sugar dissolves and mixture is simmering. Uncover, increase heat to medium low and cook without stirring. 
3. Tip the pot to swirl the syrup if some spots are getting darker than the rest. Cook until syrup turns deep golden amber. Turn off heat. 
4. Add baking soda and start stirring quickly as the caramel foams. Pour over popcorn and quickly mix until evenly coated in caramel. Spread on cookie sheet and allow to cool and harden. Break into pieces. 



A longer version of this article first appeared in FOOD Magazine, Issue 3, 2017

Recipes and styling by Tina Concepcion Diaz
Photos by Paul del Rosario