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I love Cracker Jacks. I’m sure we all have that memory of tearing the lid off of the box of Cracker Jacks, just to find the toy inside. I can’t remember if I was more excited about the toy or eating the Cracker Jacks.
One of the greatest things I inherited from my grandmother, whom we lovingly called “Shug,” was a box of her recipes. She was Southern, and loved to cook. Shug could put away jam and jelly (all from scratch), or bake a pie, faster than you could say, molasses.
So, when I discovered her recipe of the delectable stuff, I got pretty excited. Shug would attach little notes on her recipe cards. On the Cracker Jack recipe she wrote, “A friend always made this for every fall party we had. Very good.” I am assuming that she made this for church, and needed quite a bit. The recipe calls for 20 cups of popped corn, so I had to improvise to make a smaller batch.
Popcorn and Syrup
I popped the popcorn on the stove in a separate saucepan. I bought this microwave popcorn maker for my husband for Christmas, and hope it’s a little easier than doing it on the stove. But, I couldn’t use it today because it’s wrapped up under the Christmas tree.
In the pic, I’m boiling the sugar, butter, molasses, and Karo Syrup. Good, good smells coming from that pan. Wish I had a magic wand to send the deep, delicious smells your way.
Once the goods boiled for 5 minutes, I poured it over the popcorn, and mixed it up with a wooden spoon. Then I poured the popcorn out onto a couple of cookie sheets to put in the oven. I used a Silpat on my metal cookie sheet so the clean up would be easier (and it was).
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The popcorn cooked for 30 minutes. I left it out on the stovetop to cool. Once it cools, you can munch away. These make a great Christmas gift, a gift for a teacher, or to take to a potluck. The sky is the limit! Enjoy.
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Homemade Cracker Jacks for the Entire Family
Homemade Cracker Jacks are easy to make and oh-so-delicious.
- 3/4 cup popcorn kernels
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 6 Tbsp. butter
- 1/8 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup Karo Syrup
- 1/2 cup salted peanuts
- Pop the popcorn and set aside
- Add the brown sugar, butter, molasses, and Karo Syrup to a saucepan and mix well.
- Cook on medium heat.
- Boil for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and pour over popcorn.
- Add peanuts.
- Stir with a wooden spoon.
- Spread out on a cookie sheet (careful - it's hot!)
- Cook on 250-degrees for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool.
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