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Caramel Corn

January 18, 2012

I grew up in a house outfitted with a popcorn machine. To say my parents’ taste in home furnishing is eclectic is an understatement. In the same room as the aforementioned popcorn machine sits a barbershop chair, a pinball machine (which is not the only one in the house), and a motorcycle hanging from the exposed walnut beams on the ceiling. Yes, you read that right.

It was a wonderful way to grow up, but the best part—my parents actually popped popcorn all the time in that machine. And when the popcorn got dry and stale, my mom would whip up caramel corn. Her recipe for caramel corn is delicious; the molasses gives it a nice complex flavor, similar to Cracker Jack (which is what she calls it).

My mother’s version generally omits the nuts because they made my brother gag, so none of us got them, but feel free to add (as she mentions, “You may add peanuts.”). She, of course, had gallon-sized bags of it waiting for us to gorge on over the holidays. Also, I left the recipe word for word via my mother because I just love how at the end of the recipe she writes, “Bag it and watch it go!” I feel like I’m eating a bit of home with each kernel.

Jeanie’s Cracker Jack
¼ cup honey
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup butter
16 cups popcorn

Heat honey, molasses and butter in a saucepan until blended. Pour over popcorn in a big bowl. Mix well so that all is coated. Then, put in a shallow cookie pan. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes, stirring several times while baking. You may add peanuts. Bag it and watch it go! Made with love … MOM.