Halloween Popcorn Recipe – Homemade Cracker Jacks, Simplified

Just try not to eat the whole bowl.

Just try not to eat the whole bowl.

With Fright Night just days away I cannot wait to hang out with my littlest granddaughter. She is going to be a bumble bee and her mom and dad are dressing up as bee keepers. Her name is Ruby, so it was meant to be: Roo-bee. Hehehe! It is now 71 hours until I get to see her as a beautiful baby bumble bee. But who’s counting? Stay tuned for darling grandbaby photos!

I am making this colorful light and crunchy popcorn for all my favorite ghouls and goblins. This recipe is a very, very simplified version of the recipe for the American classic snack Cracker Jacks. Just one minute of simmering and then toss the liquid with popped corn and == BOOyah == delicious crunchy treats. Cracker Jacks – in Halloween colors. ((If you leave out the food coloring, you will have an amber color – reminiscent of Cracker Jacks.)) The original Cracker Jack slogan was: “The more you eat, the more you want.” Proof positive that truth in advertising once existed.

It really does take me right back to opening up that little rectangular wax covered cardboard box. The smell is one you never forget. It smells toasty and sweet at the same time. I would open up the box, dump out the contents onto the counter so I could retrieve the secret toy inside. My favorites were the ones that had a little colored film with a paper with a “secret” message that appeared when you held the colored film over the paper. If we were lucky, we got several boxes in our Halloween pillowcases.  Yes, we used pillow cases to hold our candy loot – filled to the brim by the end of the night., when we crashed in a heap on the living room floor and I counted all the Almond Joys, Hershey bars and Butterfingers – my faves. You know, all the ones you had to hide from your little brothers and sisters. And from your mom!

Happy Hatuntings, Y’all!

— posted by Donna

HALLOWEEN POPCORN, aka Easy Cracker Jacks

NOTE: If you want to make a more authentic batch of Cracker Jacks, and have a little more time – The Brown Eyed Baker’s version looks amazing.

8 cups popped corn
Large paper grocery bag (spray inside generously with cooking oil spray)
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla
A few drops of food coloring (optional, but encouraged)

Place popped corn in grocery bag.

Bring to a boil the milk, sugar and molasses. Boil for exactly one minute at a full rolling boil. Add vanilla and food coloring if desired.

Drizzle liquid into grocery bag and shake vigorously.

Spread in a single layer on wax paper to cool.

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