Recipe courtesy of Joe Pastry.com
For baseball fans, a perfectly manicured infield, the crisp crack of a bat, and the aroma of roasted peanuts make a trip to the ballpark seem magical. If you have ever been to a major league baseball game, you will understand it when I say that the sights, sounds, and smells are a treat for the senses.
Although some things are exclusive to the ballpark, you can replicate the feel of being at the game during this upcoming World Series by serving some of your favorite ballpark foods. Of course there has to be hot dogs or brats, and maybe some peanuts, but no baseball game experience is complete without Cracker Jacks. You know what I’m talking about…during the seventh inning stretch when everyone sings Take me out to the ball game…those Cracker Jacks.
This Caramel Corn tastes just like that old familiar favorite. Check out Joe’s website, he does a much better job of explaining things than I do, plus he has lots of other great recipes. Add some raw veggies to munch on during the game and you’ll have all your bases covered…sorry, I couldn’t help myself. If you are feeling frisky, you can even bake some baseball cookies. I used this recipe and frosted them with Poured Cookie Icing. Enjoy!
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1cup salted peanuts
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1. Toss a few kernels in a 3-4 quart saucepan with the 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil and put the pan over medium-high heat. After you have a couple of pops, it is time to add the other kernels.
2. Add the rest of the corn. Cover the pan and leave it slightly open, allowing the steam to escape. Shake it back and forth over the burner to help the un-popped kernels to settle to the bottom where it’s hotter.
3. Spray a large heat-proof bowl or large cake pan with non-stick spray and add the peanuts and popcorn. Stir, and place the bowl or pan in the oven at around 175°F.
4. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of a 2-3 quart saucepan, or use an instant read thermometer. Combine all the ingredients except for the baking soda and salt in the saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and swirl until the butter melts. Allow it to sit and boil until it reaches 300°F., about 20 minutes.
5. Combine your soda and salt in a bowl and stir to combine; set aside.
6. Lay out a piece of parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
7. When the caramel hits 300°F., remove from the heat and stir in the salt and baking soda mixture.
According to Joe-“It will start growing. This is the part where you’ll wonder if you haven’t made a big, big mistake because this stuff looks downright weird. However there’s method to the baking soda madness, since it’s creating an ultra-light caramel that will lay on extremely thin. It will keep growing and probably fill up the pan. Stir it down to contain the reaction”.
8. Remove the popcorn from the oven and pour the hot caramel over top. Toss the caramel corn mixture with two wooden spoons. Be careful, it is extremely hot.
9. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the mixture out of the bowl and place it on the prepared greased parchment paper, separating the mixture into small pieces. Allow to cool, then store in plastic zip-type bags.
*Soak your caramel pot and pan or bowl in water for at least 20 minutes before you even attempt to clean them.