My office is having a bake sale tomorrow, but I just got back to town late last night, had to go out of town for work again today and had a couple of my gals over tonight for a curry party. I have been busy! So I looked around for some ideas on Pinterest, and came up with an idea that I would be able to pull off without having to go out and buy a bunch of ingredients or props: home-made crackerjack. The ratios of popcorn:peanuts:caramel sauce seemed a bit off, and I also realized too late in the game that I really didn't have all the ingredients - corn syrup!!! so here's what I created instead:
14 cups popped popcorn
1 cup peanuts, shelled (leave some of the skins on)
1 cup butter
2 cups dark brown sugar
1/3 cup Aunt Jemima pancake syrup, or corn syrup if you have it in the house!
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pop your corn, shell your nuts. Set aside. Having a couple of friends around to help out makes this task more fun and less annoying.
Preheat ovent to 200 degrees. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar, syrup and salt. Bring to a light boil, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat. Add baking soda and stir. Back the hell up b/c this thing will fizz like crazy. Add the vanilla and again watch the volcano erupt.
Pour the caramel mixture into the corn/peanut mixture and toss to coat evenly.
What I did at this point was coat my palms with butter and pressed the popcorn equally between two cookie sheets. Shove in the oven and stir every 10 mins. Do this for about 30 - 40 minutes.
Let cool on racks COMPLETELY before packaging. I divided mine into little Halloween bags and tied with black satin ribbon complete with little ingredient tags.
The whole idea of Crackerjack is that a prize was included in every box. The prize in my box isn't a toy, but a trick: there is no toy inside hahahahahahaha! Also, I forgot to buy toys :(