Thursday, January 27, 2011

Do you remember Cracker Jacks?

When I was a little girl, Mom would sometimes buy Cracker Jacks.  Do you remember the rectangular shaped box full of caramel covered popcorn?  Also, each box had some kind of small trinkety toy.  Cracker Jacks were so good.  I don't recall whether Mom ever made Cracker Jacks from scratch until I was older.  Now it is common for cooks to make "Caramel Popcorn" which tastes very similar.

My sister-in-law makes the best!  I have tried several different recipes and was never satisfied with it.  Finally, I asked her what recipe she uses.  Her family has a cookbook called Busy Mother's Cookbook.  The Halteman family has several cookbooks.  I don't know if they are all titled the same, but this is the 2nd book with the blue cover.  Anyway, this superb recipe of Caramel Popcorn comes from that cookbook.  

Oven Caramel Corn
7 or 8 quarts popped corn
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup margarine
1/2 cup white corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Boil ingredients except corn and soda for 5 minutes mixing well and stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat; add soda.  Stir quickly.  Pour over popped corn.  Mix well.  Put into 2 large flat pans I use a large roaster) and place in 250 degree oven for 1 hour, stirring 2 or 3 times. (I stir every 15 minutes).  Store in tightly closed containers, very important.Note: When cooked, keeps indefinitely.  Tastes like Cracker Jacks.  Peanuts may be added.

This is very good for school lunches or a snack for when young people get together as this makes a large amount (it fills a Thatsa bowl almost full).

I usually pop my popcorn in a kettle.  I use my 6 quart kettle that has a heavy bottom.  The heavy bottom keeps it from burning.

Popcorn in a Kettle
1/2 cup popcorn
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Turn burner to medium high. And once it starts to sizzle, take kettle off burner and shake a little to stir the kernels around.  Put back on burner.  Keep close watch on it and every so often take the kettle of the burner and shake it.  Once the kernels start to pop, shake oftener.  Once there is very little popping, take off burner and pour in bowl.  Season.  We like to season with sugar, cinnamon, and hickory smoke salt (you can buy this at the bulk food store.)  Very delicious and easy to make. Also a lot cheaper than microwave popcorn.  Enjoy!

Note: I make two kettles to make Oven Caramel Corn.

Do you have a special seasoning you like to put on your popcorn? 


Janette said...

thought you might like to know, i was in Old Navy on Monday and they had some great clearance deals... most were an extra 40% off the clearance price.

i got:

2 fleece mens hoodies - $4.18

1 striped mens hoodie - $4.78

2 Long sleeve button down small mens shirts - $3.28 each

most of these items were $24.50 regularly

Anonymous said...

We like to use chicken bullion! (not sure if that's spelled right) Very Yummy!


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