Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
This is a copycat recipe of Cracker Jacks that I got from a Phil Donahue show. I don't remember who the guest was that figured out the recipe or I'd be happy to say. It's really great! Prep time is for assembling the ingredients since this is cooked in three steps. First the popcorn, then the peanuts and finally the coating and final cooking.
- 1 cup peanuts (without skins)
- 1 cup butter or 1 cup margarine, plus
- 2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine
- 5 quarts popped corn
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1⁄2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- Saute the peanuts in 2 TBSP butter or margarine for 5 minutes.
- Drain peanuts on paper towels.
- Sprinkle with salt to taste.
- Spread popped corn in a large shallow baking pan and put into a 250 oven.
- Stir the peanuts in gently.
- While this keeps warm in the oven, combine the 2 sticks of butter or margarine with the brown sugar and corn syrup and salt in a heavy 2-quart saucepan.
- Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves.
- Cook to"firm ball stage"--about 248 degrees on a candy thermometer--and remove from heat at once.
- Stir in baking soda, allowing mixture to foam.
- Remove popped corn and peanut mixture from oven and drizzle it with the hot foaming syrup in a fine, steady stream.
- Stir lightly to mix well.
- Return it to oven for almost an hour, stirring mixture about every 10 or 15 minutes.
- Cool thoroughly and serve.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool place.
This recipe makes delicious crunchy sweet popcorn. I did have a problem with the peanuts - the recipe doesn't say, but maybe I should have used raw ones - the roasted ones I used browned too quickly and got tough. Other than that, I would definitely recommend this recipe. Thank you very much for sharing it with us.