Grown-Up Cracker Jack’s & A Show

The girls and I recently went out to celebrate our dear friend Sherie’s birthday with dinner and a concert at Yoshi’s in San Francisco.  Since I’m always looking for an excuse to bring people food, I thought it would be fun to make a special treat for everyone to nibble on during the show.

Caramel popcorn sounded perfect!  Fun, easy, and by adding some peanuts, reminiscent of everyone’s childhood favorite; Cracker Jacks.

This is by far the best recipe I have come across for caramel corn and, shockingly enough, it’s from a page I tore out of an old Cooking Light magazine.  I just added peanuts!

Caramel Popcorn

Recipe Source: Cooking Light Magazine

Cooking spray
1  cup  dark brown sugar, packed
1/2  cup  light corn syrup
1/3  cup  butter
1  tbsp light molasses
1 1/2  tsp  vanilla extract
1/2  tsp  baking soda
1/2  teaspoon  salt
12  cups  popcorn (popped without salt or fat)

1.  Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

2.  Spray large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

3.  In medium saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, butter and molasses and bring to boil over medium heat.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring once.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, baking soda and salt.

4.  Place popcorn in a large bowl and pour caramel mixture over top and stir well until all popcorn is evenly coated.  Pour coated popcorn onto greased baking pan and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

5.  Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes before breaking up into pieces.  Can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.

*Note:  I love peanuts so I always add a cup or two of them to the popcorn before I pour the caramel over.

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