Caramel Popcorn Cookies

Caramel Popcorn Cookies

I know that you all thought that cookie season was over, but I got lured by this recipe on Browned Butter Blondie and figured I just had to give it a go.  In her blog, she credited Joanne Chang, the owner of Flour Bakeries and author of Pastry Love for this recipe.  I immediately purchased Pastry Love and am going crazy!  There are so many recipes that I want to make, but I figured I’d start with these beauties.

Well, someone help me because these are insane!  Think of salty, chewy, crispy, sweet all combined into a cookie…don’t even try to eat just one!  These are crazy addictive.  And, if you don’t tell people what’s in them, it will make them insane trying to figure it out!  

Caramel Popcorn Cookies

The key to these cookies is making your own caramel popcorn.  It’s tempting to buy caramel corn to simplify, but I’m highly suggesting you make your own.  This recipe very lightly glazes the popcorn, which is perfect for adding it to the cookie batter.  Any heavier of a coating will make a much denser cookie, and the joy of them, in my humble opinion, is the chewy bite!  So take the extra few minutes to make the popcorn…I think you’ll agree it’s worth it!

Caramel Popcorn Cookies
Caramel Popcorn Cookies
Caramel Popcorn Cookies

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Lastly, if you make Caramel Popcorn Cookies, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is one of my favorite things to do!

Caramel Popcorn Cookies

Makes: 24-26 cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Bake Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


Caramel Popcorn (see Chef’s Notes):

  • 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


  • 14 tbsp (1 3/4 sticks) 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)


Caramel Popcorn:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large pot with a lid, heat oil over high heat until hot. Add popcorn kernels, place lid on pot and reduce heat to medium high. 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. Transfer the popcorn into a large bowl, removing any uncooked kernels.

Place the same pot on the stovetop and add butter and brown sugar. Melt the butter over high heat, it will get foamy and turn a deeper caramel color. Bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon for one minute until the mixture turns a deep, maple syrup color and smells aromatic. Remove the pot from heat and immediately stir in cooked popcorn. Stir until popcorn is evenly coated and then transfer to the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, checking at 12 minutes to be sure popcorn has not browned too quickly. Remove from the oven to cool slightly. Popcorn will harden as it cools.


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt. Set aside.

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. Reduce the speed to low and add the egg and vanilla. Mix on low speed until combined.

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. Add the popcorn and mix on low speed until combined.

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. Bake 12 -15 minutes in the center rack of the oven, rotating the pan halfway through. Cookie are done when edges are golden brown and centers are just barely set. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Chef’s Notes:

It’s ok to use store-bought caramel corn to cut down on the time.

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.

Recipe from Pastry Love


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