Who remembers loving crackerjacks when they had actual toys inside? Did that just fill your head with all kinds of childhood memories? Maybe an old time baseball game or kicking around with friends or a visit to the dentist because your filling got pulled out? Yeah, us too. Okay, maybe not the filling part but growing up crackerjack was a wonderful treat. All kinds of goofy trinkets and toys, mini baseball cards in there with the caramel popcorn and roasted nuts. We were at our friends Steve and Sarah’s house the other week while Sarah was putting together a batch or spicy caramel corn. With our candy day coming up Charisse wanted some practice making caramel and what could be better to practice with than some good old fashioned caramel corn? Armed with a pot, a candy thermometer popcorn and various forms of sugar Charisse put together a most amazing candied snack ever. Once its cooled and broken up into chunks the caramel corn is everything you’d expect it to be. We found these popcorn bags somewhere and it makes such a great gift box or an awesome movie night snack, especially if you have kids that do slumber parties.
Pop your popcorn however way you choose. We use about 2 Tbs oil in our dutch oven and heat it until hot, adding the kernels, covering and shaking the pot occasionally until all the kernels have popped.
In a heavy bottomed sauce pot, stir together the sugars, corn syrup and water and bring to boil, stirring occasionally throughout process. Cover and let boil for about 2 minutes. Uncover pot and using a candy thermometer, boil until temp reaches 240* F (soft ball stage). At this point add butter and bring temp up to 300* (hard crack stage) Remove from heat and very carefully mix in the salt and baking soda. The baking soda will cause the mixture to foam up. Pour the caramel over the popcorn and toss with wooden spoons until all the popcorn is well coated. Spread out on a baking sheet and try to spread as thin as possible. Let cool for a couple minutes then using forks, break up into as many separate pieces as possible. Let cool completely.