Homemade Cracker Jack-Style Caramel Corn

Recipe By: Calphalon Team  -  Originally Published: 8/29/2009

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A quick dessert perfect for movie night at home with friends and family.

  • Servings: Serves 12
  • Prep Time: Less than 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: Less than 30 Minutes
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Course: Dessert

Ingredients

1 2/3 c. popcorn kernels

5 - 6 tsp. olive oil

2 brown paper lunch bags

1 piece of adhesive tape

2 c. Spanish peanuts

8 Tbsp. unsalted butter

1 c. brown sugar

1 c. light corn syrup

4 Tbsp. molasses

1/2 tsp. salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.

Combine the popcorn and oil in a mixing bowl and toss to coat evenly.  Place half of the oiled popcorn in each of the 2 brown paper bags and seal with tape.

Cook each bag of popcorn separately in a microwave oven set on high for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes.  (Microwave ovens vary; be careful not to burn the popcorn.) 

Empty both bags of popped corn into a large bowl.  Add the peanuts to the popcorn.

For the caramel, heat the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, molasses and salt in a small sauce pan until the butter has melted and the sugar is smooth and no longer grainy. 

Pour the caramel over the popcorn and peanuts.  Use a large spoon to toss the popcorn and peanuts until they are evenly coated. 

Spread the mixture on a nonstick 12x17-in. baking sheet.  Place the pan in the oven and bake for 6 minutes. 

Remove the pan from the oven and use a spatula to turn and mix the cracker jacks.  Bake for an additional 6 minutes.

Remove the cracker jacks immediately from the hot pan and place them in a large bowl.  Allow the cracker jacks to air dry, tossing occasionally to promote even drying. 

Store in an air tight container or enjoy while still warm and sticky.