Homemade Cracker Jacks

It was a pretty busy weekend for us. Amy's school had graduation Friday night (along with some teacher celebration afterwards), we went to L's birthday party Saturday night, the ribbon cutting for the beautiful new barn at the Coventry Farmers Market (which our neighbor L had a huge part in building) was Sunday morning, then we met Amy's family for lunch to celebrate Father's Day. Sunday afternoon was spent prepping snacks and cupcakes for this afternoon's book club meeting. So when Sunday evening came, and it was time to relax and watch a movie, we wanted an easy, yummy, movie-watching snack. That's where our Secret Recipe Club assignment for June comes in.

Danielle is the author of Delicious Existence. She is a holistic health and wellness coach whose blog promotes a healthy and happy lifestyle in which raw, vegan and vegetarian foods play a huge role. She lists her recipes as "Kitchen Adventures" (which we love!), and they are indexed by picture rather than by name. It was fun exploring the site, but as much as we'd love to say we made something really healthy for us, we didn't. You know us better than that by now. We made her recipe for homemade "cracker jacks." Perfect for movie-watching.

We did make a couple of changes to Danielle's recipe, which made it not quite as healthy for us, but still delicious. We didn't want to buy "vegan buttery spread" just for a couple of tablespoons, so we went ahead and used butter, which (obviously) means our version isn't vegan. And when we went to make it, we realized we didn't have any brown sugar, so we used turbinado sugar. Also, Danielle lets hers cook in a slow cooker for about 45 minutes, while we just did it in a double-boiler, only cooking ours for about 15 minutes. We wanted quick! Nonetheless, nutty, crunchy, sticky and yummy, this snack was exactly what we wanted.

Homemade Cracker Jacks
slightly adapted from Delicious Existence

1 cup organic turbinado (cane) sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons salted butter
2 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2/3 cup popcorn kernels
2 cups roasted, salted peanuts

In a double-boiler, over medium heat, place the sugar, honey, molsses, butter, apple sauce, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Stir and cook for about 15 minutes, until well combined, hot, and bubbly. In the meantime, make the popcorn by cooking the kernels in the coconut oil (we do ours in our Whirley Popper), or air-pop if you desire. Mix the cooked popcorn and the peanuts in a (very) large bowl. Pour the sauce over the popcorn and peanuts and mix until well coated. Cover a couple of baking sheets with wax paper and spread the "cracker jacks" onto the sheets to cool and harden. Store in an airtight container until ready to eat.


Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

Oh, how I love caramel corn! This could be the ultimate snack food in my opinion :) I was so lucky to have your blog this month for the SRC...and made your balsamic berries. Whoa, was that the BEST dessert of the season. Seriously, I drank the leftover juices...just amazing. Thank you!

Melissa said...

Delicious! I love popcorn and I enjoy finding new ways to prepare it. Great SRC pick!

Chelsy Ethridge said...

No way! Do they come with a prize as well! Love this recipe :)!

Cindy said...

Popcorn and peanuts are always a great combo. This looks delicious--perfect SRC pick.

Aly ~ Cooking In Stilettos said...

Love this! Cracker Jacks are a guilty pleasure and one I normally save for the Phillies games. This has kinda kicked the door open to make it at home and, really, does anyone need a baseball game to enjoy this - I say no.

Erin said...

Cracker Jacks got me through college =o) This recipe sounds delicious!!!

Unknown said...

This sounds unbelievably good! My mom just gave me her popcorn maker, so I am totally giving this one a go. Great choice for SRC!!

Gretchen (Veggie Grettie) said...

Cracker Jacks always bring a smile to my face. These would be great to hand out just as fireworks start on the Fourth!

Danielle said...

Looking good :-)

So glad you enjoyed the recipe and my website!

Lisa~~ said...

I too made a candied popcorn this month for SRC and my daughter loved it and I think she'll love this one too, we're making it very soon. Great SRC choice.

If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my group "A" SRC entry: Candied Popcorn.

Cook Lisa Cook

Eliotseats said...

Love that retro popper!

Angie - Big Bears Wife said...

I love Cracker Jacks!!! I never even thought about making it at home! Great Post!

Anonymous said...

What a fun homemade treat! I'd be looking for the prizes at the bottom of each bowl.

Unknown said...

Crackerjack was my absolute favorite snack when I was a kid! I have to make this.