Saturday, February 23, 2013

take me out to the ballgame!!!

it's here, it's here that wonderful time of year!! baseball season! and what goes better with baseball besides cracker jacks!!! ok, ok so maybe beer does. i don't make beer, but i do make a mean homemade cracker jack, that is quite tasty with beer. the plus is you will never eat the one from the box again, when you see how easy they are to make! you can even add your own prize in the batch and it's bound to be a better one than you find in the box these days. i mean really what happened to the good prizes like plastic rings and stuff, who wants a tattoo and a joke! blah!!!  
so i am done complaining about the boxed kind, on to mine!!! 
this recipe is quick and easy and you can customize it when your all done. think chocolate moose munch from harry and david. yummy caramel popcorn drizzled with chocolate, or chocolate and peanut butter..... mmmmmmm!!! ok, i'm getting side tracked by the idea of crunchy goodness. let me get back on track!!
so this is what you will need.

                                                   homemade cracker jacks

***2/3 cup unpopped popcorn
4 teaspoons olive oil (5-6 teaspoons for 2/3 cup popcorn)
1/2 cup shelled peanuts (our family likes roasted and salted, but use whatever you like)
 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

****i like to pop my corn in a pot on the stove. add oil to a stock pot over med heat and pour kernels in and shake to coat with oil. place lid on pot and what for that first fabulous pop! after that gently continue to shake pot over the heat until all popcorn is popped. the popping will slow considerably when it is ready. ***

now this is your choice if you use an air popper, go for it. you can also place the kernels in a paperbag with a small amount of oil, seal the bag and put in the microwave on your popcorn setting. yes there is no need for that stuff you buy in the grocery store. altho i think there may be an organic natural brand out there now, but i can't help you there. my way is cheaper and plenty easy for me.

pour the popped corn in a large bowl, try and make sure there are no un-popped kernels in the batch, but some seem to always slip by. pour the peanuts into the bowl with your 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(i used a silpat on my cookie sheet) and place in oven for 10-12 minutes, stirring once or twice. it will be gooey. 

you will end up with a wonderful cookie sheet of goodness that looks something like this.

stir occasionally and let air dry until crisp, then store in an airtight container if there is any left that is!

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