Monday, July 25, 2011

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

This past weekend, Ryan and I took an adventure out to San Francisco for a short weekend getaway to go to go cheer on the Giants! When I think of AT&T park, I think garlic fries, hot dogs and beer. As much as I love those things (and baseball too), I wanted to make us a snack that screamed "play ball!" and was something that I have never made before - homemade cracker jacks! Snacks are a must anytime we go on an adventure. I always make sure to bring them with me whether it be crackers, cookies or prunes. I must admit this now - I carry prunes in my purse. And no I'm not 80. I just like prunes. Now that I think about it, I should probably come up with a recipe to use prunes. But, we'll get to that later. Needless to say, it's always a good idea to keep the captain and co-pilot fueled and ready to go during an adventure. Here's some San Francisco love from this weekend!

Hello from our seats at AT&T Park!

Hello Stamos! (Don't worry my heart still lies with Posey. Come back soon, we miss you!)

Post breakfast walk along Chrissy Field. Ps. Best breakfast I've had in a long time. If you have not been to Perry's in SF, you must go. The eggs blackstone were to DIE FOR delicious!
Ok, back to caramel corn. That's what you came here for right? After searching through what seemed like 50 different recipes, I finally found one that sounded perfect and one I had most of the ingredients for. And who doesn't love cracker jacks?! They're sweet, salty and they come with a prize (the best part if you ask me). My only issue with the outcome of this delicious snack is that the peanuts did not stick. I am not sure if this is due the fact that they had natural oils on them or if the caramel sauce I made was not sugary enough. One will never know. Although, this is one recipe I will make again, most likely during the holidays (hello moose munch!) now that I know the trick to not making the popcorn soggy. Now that I've mentioned the trick, you're probably wondering what it is, right? Okay, okay, I'll spill the beans - keeping the popped popcorn in the oven at low heat while you are making the sticky sweet topping is a must. It keeps the popcorn warm, but dries the kernels out just enough so that the caramel will adhere without soaking in and making it all soggy. No one likes soggy popcorn! Warning - this recipe make A TON of popcorn and you will want to eat it all. Trust me, it's delicious and extremely addicting. I brought the leftovers into work today, and they were gobbled up in a flash!

Pre Pop and Shake
Post Pop - SO much popcorn!

Boiling Caramel. Don't lick the spoon after making this. Just trust me on this one.

Caramel and Popcorn together at last

Caramel Corn ready to eat!

Caramel Corn (from
4 quarts popped popcorn (about 16 cups)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup butter 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Spray large shallow roasting pan with cooking spray. Add popcorn and place in preheated 250 degrees F oven while preparing caramel.
  2. Mix brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Boil 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat. Stir in baking soda and vanilla; mix well.
  4. Pour syrup over warm popcorn, stirring to coat evenly.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally (about every 15 minutes). Remove from oven and spread on foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  6. Cool; break apart. Store in tightly covered container. 
Although these "cracker jacks" didn't come with a prize, they did come with a giants win on Satuday night! Couldn't have asked for a better weekend of baseball, San Francisco and a slightly detoured road trip with my big sugar (if you get this giants reference, you rock).
Here are a couple of tips that make this recipe even better - If you can, use a disposable roasting pan. It makes clean up a snap and you don't have to worry about cleaning up stuck on popcorn and burnt sugar from cooking your caramel corn in the oven. Once you add the baking soda to the caramel mixture, pour it over the popcorn right away. If you let it sit, it won't pour as well over your popcorn. Also, make sure you stir the popcorn every 15 minutes or so during baking. If you don't you might get burnt popcorn. And no body likes burnt popcorn. Well, except my mom. 


  1. Mmm, I love popcorn. I could eat it every night. I laughed where you said don't lick the spoon. I made beer bread a few weeks ago and licked the knife after testing it in the middle. Big mistake. I am just so impatient I want a taste right away.

  2. I love popcorn too, it's delicious plan, sweet or slightly buttery! The best part about this recipe is that you can make our own (which I did) or buy whatever bagged kind out like. If you like it more buttery sweet, you could probably go for a buttered or lightly butted flavor. Good thing about licking the spoon is that I at least waited until it was cooled a little. Still hot, but boy was it good. Well worth the sightly burned tongue.