As a “younger” person, I loved county fairs, arts & craft fairs and the smell of caramel corn drifting through the air as I walked the booths! I don’t want to make it sound like I don’t like that any more….I do. But I have had my fair share (no pun intended) of agricultural barns (my twins were in 4H) cotton candy, salt water taffy and corn dogs fried to a golden brown and dripping with yellow mustard.
Our church had a permanent booth at the Smoky Hill River Festival and it seemed like my friend Jamie and I were in charge of preparing food for our booth for years and years and years!
OK, that is a bit of an exaggeration, but lets suffice it to say we made plenty of caramel corn and fruit slushies and baked potatoes with all kinds of toppings. And we made the caramel corn and slushies in my kitchen daily for two to three weeks before the festival. We had 5 gallon tins of caramel corn sitting all around my kitchen, dining room and living room.
I love caramel corn and now that baseball season has started…I get a hankerin’ for cracker jacks and it is after all, caramel corn. The Captain bought a box of cracker jacks a few months ago and I was disappointed as it did not have the “toy” inside… just a kiddie tatoo paper….and there were not many peanuts in the corn. sigh! I guess one can’t go home again……
However, I ran to my recipe file and dug up this recipe from the long ago days of caramel corn making with Jamie! I had to smile because there were stains on the recipe written out on notebook paper. Now, that is a sign of a well used recipe isn’t it? 🙂
Making caramel corn is easy as the below printable recipe will attest…..and we know we have to have “cracker jacks” at any baseball game.
I mean, IT IS WRITTEN! Remember?
“Take me out to the ball game……buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks…. “
Have a great Thursday my dear readers…and if you get a chance, check out the upcoming Smoky Hill River Festival in June: http://www.riverfestival.com/events.cfm
There is fun for every one. Food booths, live bands, arts & crafts. I know many of my family members will be among those crowds.
As for me? I will be the one sitting at home…in Florida… with my feet up watching the Kansas City Royals play baseball….eating peanuts and home made cracker jacks!
- 8-10 cups of popped popcorn
- 2 sticks butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup dark corn syrup
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp pure vanilla
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup salted peanuts
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Grease a large rimmed baking sheet with butter and set aside.
- Try to remove as many of the un-popped kernels as you can and toss them away.
- Add the peanuts to the popcorn mixing well
- Put the popcorn in a deep disposable aluminum pan or a very large bowl and place in the oven while you make the caramel.
- Melt the butter in a medium size saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add sugars and syrups and bring to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally.
- Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add salt, vanilla and baking soda. Stir until the foaming stops and the caramel is light and fluffy.
- Pour the the caramel over the popcorn, gently stirring to coat as much as you can.
- Transfer the coated popcorn to the buttered baking sheet (spread thinly if you can) and bake for 45 minutes
- Remove from the oven and cool until easily handled (you might have to break apart a few pieces)
- You can place in a popcorn tin or in individual containers....but don't worry what you put it in, it will be gone before you know it. 🙂
- You can use all light brown sugar and light corn syrup if you prefer, I like mixing light and dark because it looks and tastes more like cracker jacks!...and you can't watch a baseball game without cracker jacks, can you?
Please comment, I'd love to hear from you.