More holiday nosh! This caramel corn is an irresistible, addictive sweet treat that’s easy to make. As a child I remember getting a box of cracker jacks and enjoying every bite of the molasses flavored, candy coated popcorn and peanuts AND finding the prize that was in every box. You might find a ring, stickers, plastic figurine, whistle, or a temporary tattoo. If any of you saved the toys from your cracker jacks they have become collectible and are probably worth a few coins. Whether or not this caramel corn makes you feel nostalgic I’m confident you’ll enjoy every last bite. And if you want to include a prize in every bag, well all the sweeter!
16 cups popcorn (approximately 2 bags of microwave popcorn)
1 cup nuts (optional)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
(Sorry I open the brown sugar bag on the wrong end.)
Spread popcorn (and nuts if you’re using) on a greased jelly roll pan or in a large roasting pan. Try to pick out any unpopped kernels to save on dental work as you’re munching your caramel corn.
Preheat your oven to 250.
In a heavy saucepan combine sugar, butter, and corn syrup.
Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Boil mixture for 5 minutes without stirring.
Remove from heat. With a wooden spoon stir in vanilla and baking soda stirring constantly.
After the addition of the vanilla and the baking soda the consistency of the mixture makes a dramatic change.
Pour the caramel over the popcorn and stir well to coat. Bake for 45 minutes stirring every 15 minutes.
Pour out onto freezer or parchment paper to cool. Spread out to separate. Store in air tight containers or sealed zip lock bags.
We made some with pecans and some with lightly salted cashews. You can use any kind of nut you prefer. Or you can go nutless. I have always used the light butter microwave popcorn but if you have a hot air popper or like to make your popcorn on the stove the old fashioned way it’s all good.
If you put a bowl of this out at your holiday party or while you’re watching a movie, I guarantee you it will be one of the first things to disappear. Prize or no prize. Enjoy!!