A batch of this colorful crunchy snack mix is perfect for gift giving or serving at a holiday party.
- 4 quarts plain popped popcorn
- 5 cups miniature pretzels
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 cup butter, cubed
- 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup salted peanuts
- 2 cups non-chocolate candy (gumdrops, Skittles, etc.)
- Place popcorn and pretzels in a large bowl; set aside. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a rolling boil. Cook and stir until candy thermometer reads 238° (soft-ball stage). Remove from the heat; stir in baking soda. Quickly pour over popcorn and mix thoroughly; stir in peanuts.
- Turn into two greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pans. Bake at 200° for 20 minutes; stir. Bake 25 minutes more. Remove from the oven; add candy and mix well. Remove from pans and place on waxed paper to cool. Break into clusters. Store in airtight containers or plastic bags. Yield: 6-1/2 quarts.
Originally published as Deluxe Caramel Corn in Country Woman Christmas 1996, p33
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