Thursday, August 13, 2009

Homemade Cracker Jack Popcorn

Today I am bringing you another recipe that I found over at the Hillbilly Housewife. Last month I sat down and went through her site and printed off all the recipes that I wanted to make.
 When I first saw the recipe for homemade caramel corn I noticed on the bottom of the recipe that it stated this recipe is similar to Cracker Jack. I wondered to myself was it really?
I used to eat Cracker Jack all the time when I was younger it was so good. Well I have made this recipe twice already and I can honestly say, yes it does taste just like Cracker Jack, so I have renamed this as Homemade Cracker Jack Popcorn.
This recipe is very good prepared with or without nuts. The first time I made it I left out the nuts because my kiddos dislike nuts.

The second time I made it, I told them they were on their own picking them out cause mama likes the nuts.
The funniest part about making this recipe was popping up the pop corn. You see I popped mine up the old fashioned way in a pot with some oil.

My kids thought I was crazy. I poured the oil, added the popcorn and put the lid and just waited. one pop then two and three and pop pop pop pop.

My kids came in the kitchen and said Mom what are you doing? I said popping popcorn, my daughter said in a pot why not in a bag in the microwave.

I told her this is the way it used to be cooked before they had microwave popcorn. Mackenzie said what!!!!!!!!! no microwave popcorn, to funny.

I mainly did this just to see the their reaction and the looks on their faces. Mackenzie's face was so priceless. Now my baby knows you can make popcorn on the stove to!

These are the ingredients you will need: 8 cups popped pop corn, brown sugar, margarine, light corn syrup, salt, baking soda, vanilla extract and peanuts (optional).

in a 2 quart sauce pan combine the brown sugar, margarine, corn syrup and salt over low heat. After the margarine melts,

cook without stirring for 3 minutes. It should be bubbling gently during the 3 minutes.

Stir in the baking soda and vanilla.

Arrange the popcorn (and peanuts, if you are using them) in a well oiled 9″ by 18″ jelly roll pan. Quickly pour this over the pan of popcorn.

Mix gently to coat the popcorn evenly. You wont get all of it coated, but don't worry once it is in the oven you can check it every 5 minutes and mix it with your spatula and make sure all the popcorn is coated.

bake the pan at 300 degrees for about 15 minutes.

remove from oven see all the popcorn is coated with all that caramel goodness.

then using your spatula quickly, remove the caramel corn. It can be a bit of a task scraping it off but just work fast. Break it up into pieces and serve.

I was so amazed it tasted just like cracker jack popcorn. This would be the perfect gift around the holidays. Just add some to those cute little clear gift sacks and tie a ribbon on and that's it.

Homemade Cracker Jack

8 - cups popped popcorn
1- cup peanuts (optional)
3/4 - cup brown sugar
1/4  cup margarine
3 - tablespoons corn syrup
1/4 - teaspoon each salt & baking soda
1/2 - teaspoon vanilla

Arrange the popcorn (and peanuts, if you are using them) in a well oiled 9″ by 18″ jelly roll pan. 

Get out a 2 quart sauce pan and combine the brown sugar, margarine, corn syrup and salt over low heat. 

After the margarine melts, cook without stirring for 3 minutes. It should be bubbling gently during the 3 minutes. Stir in the baking soda and vanilla. 

Quickly pour this over the pan of popcorn. Mix gently to coat the popcorn evenly. Bake the pan at 300 degrees for about 15 minutes. 

Break it up into pieces and serve. This stuff is so good and wont last long , but if you do end up with leftovers, store them in a sealed container, or bag. It is good tucked into lunch boxes too.

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Country Cookin' Mama said... #

Yum! I can't wait to try this!! So many good recipes, so little time!

Mary said... #

That looks perfect Tina! Love that you taught your daughter the way that popcorn "used" to be popped LOL!! I love HH website too - it's changed hands over the years but Susanne is trying to hold true to its origins. There are some great basics there for sure.

STAMPMOM9 said... #

Hello I just wanted to say I love coming to your site..always a pleasure. I have so many things I wanna make. I am the mother to nine children and you always have fun recipes that we enjoy...the corn dogs..I think out one of our favs. Thanks so much for all that you do!!! Dawn

Micha said... #

That's too funny. I saw an old friend of mine and her little boy today at Wal Mart and they had bought popcorn to make the old fashioned way.

I just wish my nephew was old enough for popcorn but he's just two.

CrystalsCozyKitchen said... #

I now know what I'm going to do with my corn syrup that I thought of throwing out yesterday (I don't normally use corn syrup when I cook, but bought some to make Christmas Candy). That looks delicious.
I'm also lucky because Hubby bought me an air popper for Christmas, so I won't have to do it on the stove :).

Kaitlin said... #

This looks so yummy to snack on. I've got to try it, thanks for posting it!

Heidi said... #

That's so funny! We always made out popcorn on the stove when I was growing up. The invention of the microwave has gotten the kids spoiled! I need to make this because my kids love cracker jack. They are nut fans, so I must add the nuts to ours.

Amy in Freeport NY said... #

I have to make this TODAY! xo

Keeper of our Home said... #

I have been a "HH" follower for years now. There are some pretty tasty recipes on her site. I'm glad you are spotlighting them.

~Mrs. M

Melody said... #

Great idea to put this in lunch boxes. What a fun treat. I loved Cracker Jacks! Especially the prize! :)

Susan said... #

When I was gwoing up.. We also prepared popcorn on the stove top, In an old alumnanium pan. ( then came popcporn poppers for the stove top... The came Jiffy Pop.. Then came Air Poppers... And THEN came the Microwave Ovens... LOL

Lots A Poppin...

Dorene said... #

I used to make mine this way too, until I found it was easier making it ALL in the microwave, even the caramel part..turns out great and is easy to do.

Krystal said... #

That looks awesome! I love your popcorn bowls too! i was just eying some in the penny's catalog yesterday

sherri said... #

Looks awesome! I love cracker Jacks!

Lynn said... #

Yum, I do love Cracker Jack, homemade or store bought. Have you ever tried popcorn drizzled with chocolate? I tried that recently (after reading the suggestion on someone's blog) and it was delicious :)

Libby said... #

That is to awesome! How cool!

Bunny said... #

I have to make this I love Cracker Jack Popcorn!!

MariaT said... #

Tina, I finally got a chance to make this popcorn this weekend. Yummy! This is definately a keeper. My husband thanks you too.


nooschi said... #

I love caramel corn. My co-worker makes this every year for Christmas and I'm looking forward to it now. The home made stuff is always the best.

Anonymous said... #

OMG school was closed , so I was off. Got very board so tried this. so easy and yummie. thx for sharing

Sonia said... #

I loved Cracker Jack when I was growing up. Wanted to make a homemade version and this recipe is perfect. This saves you money from buying the stuff in the box and it always tastes better when made fresh. Thanks!

Anonymous said... #

I made this today it was the bomb!

Anonymous said... #

AWESOME ! I hate to say it tastes like Cracker Jacks because it is WAY BETTER and so easy. Within 30 minutes of seeing the recipe I was sitting down to enjoy it.

Judy said... #

OMGosh!! This stuff is easy to make, delicious and taste just like Cracker Jacks. The only down side is its addictive nature.
I make it and have my man bring it to work immediately saving me from constant trips to the cupboard.

Thanks for sharing this recipe.