Cracker Jack lovers, here it is! Do you love soft or crunchy popcorn? My handsome hubby LOVES crunchy and had me on a quest to find a way to make his beloved ‘Cracker Jack’. Well, I did it!!! I mean seriously, I am one happy dancin’ wife after years of trying to find the ‘right’ recipe that tasted as it should, kept the crunch and had the perfect balance of flavor in the molasses – which is a secret ingredient in Cracker Jack.
Now that I did all the work for you in getting the recipe ‘just right’, all you have to do is go onto the next page, follow my easy tutorial and you’ll have amazing homemade Cracker Jack popcorn too.
Homemade Cracker Jack Popcorn
14 – 15 cups popped popcorn, place into a large bowl discarding any corn that didn’t pop.
2 cups roasted nuts, optional
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3 Tbl. molasses
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Pour popcorn and nuts, if using into a large bowl.
In a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, molasses and salt.
Attach candy thermometer to the side of the pan. This is important and be sure it is working properly – buy a new one if you have a question. Be sure the end of the candy thermometer, the bulb does NOT touch the bottom of the pan, yet still in the mixture.STIRRING CONSTANTLY, cook the mixture over medium-high heat until it boils.
When it comes to a boil turn down the heat to medium and continue stirring until the thermometer reaches 250 degrees.
Then take the pan off the stove and stir in the vanilla and baking soda; it will foam up and that’s just what it’s supposed to do.
Pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn (and nuts if using) and toss gently till completely coated. Add in more popcorn IF needed.Pour the popcorn mixture into the jelly roll pans and spread evenly.
Place the pans in oven for 15 minutes.
Take out the pans, stir to distribute the caramel corn and rotate pans.
Repeat this every 15 minutes for a total of 45 minutes cooking time.When done, take out of oven and let cool, stirring every 10-15 minutes until cool to the touch.
Break into pieces and store in a zip lock bag or tightly sealed container.
Adapted by Carrie Groneman from thekitchn.com.
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