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Caramel Corn Reindeer
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5 from 2 votes

Caramel Corn Reindeer

Caramel Corn Reindeer is an adorable DIY holiday gift for all of your friends and coworkers. They are sure to bring a smile to the face of anyone lucky enough to receive one.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Packaging1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 20 mins
Course: Appetizer, Christmas
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 323kcal
Author: Chula King

Equipment

  • Hot glue gun

Ingredients

Caramel Corn

  • 2 cups (10-ounces) unsalted peanuts
  • 8 cups popped popcorn (See Tip 1)
  • ¾ cup (5.625-ounces) light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup (1 stick, 4-ounces) unsalted butter (See Tip 2)
  • ¼ cup (2.75-ounces) light corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter or salted peanuts)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

Caramel Corn Reindeer

  • 12 cups caramel corn (use the above recipe or your own caramel corn)
  • 12 cone-shaped treat bags
  • 12 small rubber bands
  • 12 12-inch brown pipe cleaners cut to 10-inches
  • 12 12-inch brown pipe cleaners cut into 4 equal pieces
  • 12 small bows
  • 24 large wiggly eyes
  • 12 ½-inch red pom poms

Instructions

Caramel Corn

  • Preheat oven to 250°F.
  • Add the popcorn to a large bowl. Add peanuts on top. Do not mix at this point. Set aside.
  • Heat the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until butter is melted. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, undisturbed and uncovered, for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in vanilla extract and baking soda. Be careful here because the baking soda will cause the caramel to boil up significantly.
  • Pour the caramel over the popcorn and peanuts; quickly stir to coat.
  • Spread the mixture onto an ungreased large disposable aluminum pan (15-3/16 x 11-5/16 x 2-⅞ inches). Bake for one hour, removing every 15 minutes to stir. (See Tip 3)
  • Spread the mixture onto parchment paper to cool. It may seem sticky at first but will dry as it cools.
  • Yield: 12 cups. (See Tip 4)

Caramel Corn Reindeer

  • Fill a cone-shaped treat bag with 1 cup of caramel corn. Secure the bag with a rubber band.
  • Twist one 10-inch pipe cleaner around the rubber band. Then twist two of the smaller pieces of pipe cleaner around one side of the larger pipe cleaner to form antlers. Repeat with two smaller pieces of pipe cleaner on the other side.
  • Secure the bow towards the top over the rubber band/twisted pipe cleaner with the hot glue gun. Secure two wiggly eyes towards the top with the hot glue gun. Finally, secure a red pom pom at the bottom with the hot glue gun.

Notes

  1. It’s best to use popcorn with no flavor added like unflavored SkinnyPop popcorn. I like to pop my corn in a brown paper bag in the microwave with nothing added. I typically use 6 tablespoons of kernels when I make my own popcorn in the paper bag.
  2. You can use salted butter rather than unsalted butter in the caramel. However, omit adding any additional salt.
  3. The reason that I use a disposable aluminum roasting pan is that the caramel can stick to the pan from the baking making cleanup somewhat of a chore. This way, I just toss the pan in the trash. You could, however, use a large-rimmed baking sheet lined with nonstick aluminum foil instead.
  4. The caramel corn will stay fresh for up to a week if stored in an airtight container. 

Nutrition

Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 109mg | Potassium: 213mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 249IU | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg