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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

Crazy for Crackerjacks

May 10, 2015 12:00AM

I love baseball. Especially what I get to eat while I watch it—the SuperDuper Baseball Snax. Think of it is at what Frito Lay’s Cracker Jacks should be. Once you taste my version, you’ll never be able to go back to the stale boxed variety again, even if it does come with a surprise toy inside.

For those not in the know, candy-coated popcorn is a traditional baseball snack. Fans even sing about it in the famous 1908 standard “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” which is played in the seventh-inning stretch of most major league games.

Take me out to the ball game.

Take me out with the crowd.

Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks.

I don’t care if I never get back.

Your own little leaguers will love this modern-day spin on crackerjacks. So grab a bag of this all-American snack, get prepared for a lot of finger licking, and check out a local game!

SuperDuper Baseball Snax

Ingredients

  • 12 cups popped popcorn (1/2 cup uncooked kernels)
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup roasted sunflower seed kernels
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 package plain M&Ms (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 250ºF.
  2. Spray a sheet pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with nonstick spray and set aside.
  3. Sift through the popcorn and remove kernels that didn’t pop. Combine popcorn, peanuts, cashews, and sunflower seeds in a large mixing bowl. (Don’t hesitate to mix in some of your personal favorites like almonds and pumpkin seeds.) Set aside until ready to use.
  4. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla and stir until combined.
  5. Heat the mixture until it reaches 250ºF, approximately 10 minutes. Use a candy thermometer to ensure you reach the desired temperature.
  6. Pour the candy coating over the popcorn. Quickly and gently fold the coating into the popcorn as evenly as you can. Work fast! You want to coat as much of the popcorn as possible before the coating hardens.
  7. Spread the mixture onto the prepared sheet pan. Sprinkle the M&Ms over the top if desired, and bake in the oven for 1 hour. Let cool completely.
  8. Break into pieces and serve immediately or store in an airtight container for 2–3 days.

Note: A quick soak in hot soapy water will dissolve any candy residue left on dishes.