Homemade Cracker Jack
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Cracker Jack is often thought of as the original junk food with the slogan, "the more you eat, the more you want."  While this may have been true in the late 1800's and early 1900's, now we just think of it as a ball game favorite. Since we can't make opening day arrive sooner, we decided to try and enjoy the tastes of the ball park with this easy homemade Cracker Jack recipe. 

Homemade Cracker Jack 

Makes: Approximately 12 (1 cup) servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time 50 minutes

What you need:

  • 16 cups freshly-popped popcorn (we used natural microwave popcorn)

  • 2 cups roasted, lightly salted peanuts (Spanish or regular)

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar

  • ½ cup light corn syrup

  • 2 tablespoons molasses

  • ½ teaspoon table salt

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • Sea salt, to taste

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 250°. Transfer the popped corn to a large large stock pot (or divide between 2 large mixing bowls), discarding any unpopped kernels as you go. Add the peanuts and toss to combine.

  2. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in brown sugar, corn syrup, molasses, and salt. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally, until the temperature reads 250°F on a candy thermometer, about 5-8 minutes.

  3. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda. Working quickly, pour the hot caramel into the pot and gently toss until the popped corn and nuts are evenly coated. We used a wooden spoon to gently combine the mixture. 

  4. Divide the popcorn mixture in half between 2 greased baking sheets, spreading into a thin, even layer. Bake, stirring every 15 minutes, for 50 minutes. Sprinkle Cracker Jack with a little sea salt and allow to cool in pans for 20 minutes. Separate the popcorn into individual pieces with your hands before serving. This is best eaten the day it's made but can be stored in an air tight container for up to 3 days. Enjoy! 

Try it and let us know what you think? Tag us or share using #mypricechopper.