Back in the day, down South, cooks didn't have corn syrup on their shelves, they had sorghum molasses as it was cheaply and locally produced. It's an old fashioned taste I love and candy made w/ molasses is far more flavorful than candy made w/ corn syrup. My Granny cooked her candy till 'hard crack' on the stovetop and poured it over the corn, but doing it that way takes a lot more babysitting and using this method you won't burn or undercook it because it hardens in the oven.
- Pre-heat oven to 250 deg.
- Place butter in a medium pot, on medium heat.
- While the butter's melting, pop the corn and put it in a large roasting pan. I used a disposable aluminum pan and a hot air popper (you won't need to butter the pan).
- Keep an eye on the butter and add the sugar, molasses, and salt to it as soon as its melted.
- Bring the candy to a boil and stir and cook it only till the sugar melts and the butter blends in entirely - just a couple minutes.
- Turn off the heat and stir the vanilla and peanuts into the candy.
- Quickly add the baking soda and stir untill it's well mixed. It foams to make a lighter, more delicate candy.
- Pour the candy over the popcorn and toss untill it's evenly coated.
- Put the popcorn in the oven for 1 hour, tossing every 15 or 20 minutes.
- Let it cool completely before breaking up and putting into an airtight container.
- I developed this recipe by hacking others because I couldn't find another to suit me. I made this for Christmas treats and it was INHALED, you'll find it tastes like Cracker Jack; that candy is made with molasses, not corn syrup, I got a box yersterday to compare.
- You can easily double this, but double the baking time too.