Sunday, April 21, 2013

There may not be a prize, but who can resist caramel coated popcorn and peanuts?

Take me out to the ball game... give some peanuts and Cracker Jack... well Hedy's version comes pretty close.   Take my word for it, they are difficult to put down!

Makes five cups.

3/4   cup of sugar
1 1/4 cup salted peanuts
Pinch of kosher salt
2     tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
3     cups freshly popped popcorn (not the microwave variety)

Line a baking sheet with a nonstick liner (not parchment paper).  Grease the bottom of a metal spatula (preferably with Pam).

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar with two tablespoons of water.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is clear.

Add the peanuts and salt, increase the heat to high and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar begins to turn amber at the edges.  The sugar will look granular but will melt into a caramel.  Continue cooking and stirring (to even out the colour) for another four to six minutes, until the caramel is liquid and a deep amber.

Slide the pan from the heat and add the butter and the popcorn.  Stir until the butter is melted and the popcorn is evenly coated with the caramel.  Carefully and quickly pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and using the greased spatula, spread it into a thin layer.

Set the sheet aside at room temperature for about one hour or until the mixture is completely cool and hard.

Break it into small clusters and store in an airtight container for up to five days.

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