Appetizer & Snacks, Candies

Homemade Cracker Jacks

May 24, 2013
If your a long time reader of mine then you know that my husband, Steve, played Professional Baseball for a few years.  We traveled around the country (mainly the East Coast), while my husband played baseball and I watched and supported him.  It was truly one of the best times of our lives.  We lived in New York City for one summer while he played on a team in Brooklyn and we had a blast!  Halfway through my pregnancy by husband decided to put baseball on hold and focus on settling our new family into a new home {new being the key word}.  He was planning on going back to baseball after Ezekiel was born, but when our little baby entered this world everything changed – most importantly our priorities.  Nothing matters more than this baby.  So, as a family, we decided to stay in San Diego and start a new chapter  in life.  I loved watching Steve play baseball, but when it came down to it I didn’t care about baseball, I cared about my husband being happy.  And our new family is what makes him happy!
So if anyone has been wondering if we’ve been traveling for baseball, the answer is no.  We’re settled in San Diego and couldn’t be happier!
Now onto these Homemade Cracker Jacks.  Cracker Jacks are the essential baseball game snack.  Without peanuts and cracker jacks, baseball just wouldn’t be the same.  Okay, well that might not be true, but I’d like to think that are an essential part of enjoying a baseball.  Add a hot dog and beer and your set!
Homemade Cracker Jacks couldn’t be easier.  All you do is toss homemade caramel sauce together with popcorn and peanuts.  Bake the mixture until they popcorn gets crispy and then break the popcorn into large bite-size pieces.  These would be perfect for to enjoy during the game, or even as a favor to pass out to guests at a party.

Homemade Cracker Jacks
For Printable Recipe, Click here!
Makes: About 4 Quarts  // You can definitely cut this recipe in half to make much less.
4 Quarts (16 Cups) Popped Popcorn, Plain
3 cups Peanuts, Shelled (Lightly Salted)
½ cup (1 Stick) Unsalted Butter
¼ cup Light Corn Syrup
1 cups Brown Sugar
Large Pinch of Salt
½ teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.  Place the popcorn and peanuts in a very large bowl or pot.  Lightly toss together to combine.
In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Stir in the corn syrup, brown sugar, and salt.  Increase the heat to medium-high and allow the mixture to come to a boil, stirring frequently.  Once the mixture has reached a boil, let it bubble for 5 minutes, without stirring.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla.  Be careful because the caramel will bubble up.  Be sure to not let the caramel pour out of the pan; you can stir the caramel to tame it.  Pour the caramel over the bowl of popcorn-peanuts and toss to completely coat the popcorn.
Divide the popcorn-peanut mixture between the prepared baking sheets and spread in an even layer.  Bake for about 45 minutes, being sure to toss and stir every 10/15 minutes, until it is completely crispy. 
Once crispy, remove the baking sheets from the oven and allow the cracker jacks to cool completely.  Carefully break apart the cracker jacks into large bite-size pieces.   Place the cracker jacks in a sealed plastic baggie until ready to serve/eat.
Recipe lightly adapted from Annie Eats.

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  • Melissa Maruca May 25, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Yum! We (Mike and I) loved when you made the caramel corn as your party favor for the housewarming so I’m sure the cracker jacks are awesome! Dad would totally love it!

  • nessa May 26, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    So creative!

  • Lauren at Keep It Sweet June 14, 2013 at 11:40 am

    For some reason your posts weren’t showing up in my reader so I am FINALLY catching up! Love the idea of homemade cracker jacks:-)

    Matt was just asking me if Steve was playing this season! He and I are BOTH super excited to see you guys in the fall!!!

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