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Caramel Popcorn Cookies

  • Author: Joanne Chang/Pastry Love
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Total Time: 42 mins
  • Yield: 24 1x
  • Category: Cookies


The ultimate crispy, chewy, sweet and salty cookie. Made with homemade caramel popcorn, this addicting little cookie has all the things you want in a perfect treat.



For Caramel Popcorn

  • 1 TBSP vegetable oil (I use canola oil)
  • 1/4 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt

For Cookies

  • 14 TBSP unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 6 cups caramel popcorn
  • flakey sea salt for sprinkling (optional)


For Caramel Popcorn

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a large pot with a lid, heat oil over high heat until hot.
  4. Add popcorn kernels, place lid on pot and reduce heat to medium high.
  5. Shake the pot every few seconds. Once you hear the popcorn begin to pop, shake the pot constantly. The popping will slow down to once every few seconds. Remove from heat and continue shaking the pot.
  6. Transfer the popcorn into a large bowl, removing any uncooked kernels.
  7. Place the same pot on the stovetop and add butter and brown sugar.
  8. Melt the butter over high heat, it will get foamy and turn a deeper caramel color.
  9. Bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon for one minute until the mixture turns a deep, maple syrup color and smells aromatic.
  10. Remove the pot from heat and immediately stir in the baking soda and salt.
  11. Put all of the cooked popcorn in the pot and stir until popcorn is evenly coated and then transfer to the prepared cookie sheet.
  12. Bake for 15 minutes, checking at 12 minutes to be sure popcorn has not browned too quickly.
  13. Remove from the oven to cool slightly. Popcorn will harden as it cools.

For Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and 1/2 tsp of kosher salt. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy. This should take about 5 minutes.
  5. Reduce the speed to low and add the egg and vanilla.
  6. Mix on low speed until combined.
  7. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in two additions and mix on low speed until barely combined. A few streaks of flour should remain.
  8. Add the popcorn and mix on low speed until combined.
  9. Using a medium cookie scoop, place the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each cookie as they will spread a bit.
  10. Bake 12 -15 minutes in the center rack of the oven, rotating the pan halfway through.
  11. Cookie are done when edges are golden brown and centers are just barely set.
  12. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.


Caramel popcorn may be made ahead and stored tightly wrapped at room temperature for up to one week.
Cookie dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Store baked cookies in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for 3 days.