Plain microwave popcorn becomes irresistible when it's yummied up with molasses, peanut butter and nuts. “This awesome snack never lasts long around our house,” Jacque Castillo, Brookings, Oregon, notes.
- 3 packages (3-1/2 ounces each) microwave popcorn
- 1 cup salted peanuts
- 1 cup salted roasted almonds
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup butter, cubed
- 3/4 cup corn syrup
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup pecan halves
- Pop popcorn according to manufacturer's directions. Meanwhile, in a large heavy saucepan, combine the peanuts, almonds, brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, peanut butter and molasses. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla and baking soda (mixture will foam). In a very large bowl, combine popcorn and pecans. Add hot syrup mixture and toss to coat. Spread onto greased baking sheets.
- Bake at 250° for 1 hour or until dry, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from pans to waxed paper to cool. Break into clusters. Store in airtight containers or plastic bags. Yield: 6 quarts.
Originally published as Nutty Caramel Corn in Country Woman December/January 2008, p39
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