Since the Giants will be playing in the World Series this year, there's quite a buzz in the air in San Francisco. It only seems appropriate to celebrate with a quintessential ball park dish, Cracker Jacks. While there might not be a prize, the flavor is a home run! The recipe has you pop your own bag of popcorn, and I was amazed at how easy it was. All you need is a little bit of olive oil. The popcorn is fresh and ready for a deliciously easy caramel sauce. In less than a half hour, you'll have Cracker Jacks. Don't forget to occasionally stir the mixture once it's drying on the cookie sheets — this ensures that it won't stick. Enjoy the World Series this week with a homemade batch of Cracker Jacks: just keep reading for the recipe.
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn (this will make the end result supercaramelly; if you want it less sticky, use 2/3 cup unpopped popcorn)
4 teaspoons olive oil (5-6 teaspoons for 2/3 cup popcorn)
1 brown paper sandwich bag
1 piece of adhesive tape
1/2 cup shelled peanuts (Spanish if you have them)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon molasses (you can use 2 tablespoons if you love molasses)
1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Put the popcorn in a brown paper bag (if you're using 2/3 cup, you might want to split it into two paper bags), pour in 4 teaspoons of olive oil (or more for the larger amount), and close the bag with a piece of tape. Heat it on high in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. Put it in a bowl. Add the peanuts to the popcorn.
- For the caramel, heat the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, molasses and salt in a pan on the stove until the butter is melted, and the sugar is smooth and not grainy anymore.
- Pour this mixture over the popcorn and peanuts, stirring well. Pour it all onto a cookie sheet and place in oven for 10-12 minutes, stirring once or twice. (It will be gooey and wet.)
- Stir occasional and let air dry until crisp, then store in an airtight container until the first pitch. (The cookie sheet will look dauntingly dirty, but hot water will easily erase all traces of sticky caramel sauce.)
- Other, Snacks