Homemade Cracker Jacks

Total Time:
1 hr 35 min
20 min
1 hr 15 min

about 3 quarts

  • 1 1/2 cups salted Spanish redskin peanuts
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted plus 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 9 cups popped corn
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cane syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the peanuts, pecan halves, cayenne, Essence, Worcestershire, lemon juice, and melted butter, tossing to coat well. Spread mixture evenly over the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the baking sheet and cool on parchment paper or paper towels. Combine the cooled spiced nuts and popcorn and divide evenly between 2 lightly greased baking sheets with 1/2-inch edges. Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees F.

In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining unsalted butter, sugar, and cane syrup over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Pour hot mixture evenly over both baking sheets of popcorn and nuts. Using a lightly greased spatula, stir the mixture well so that everything is evenly coated.

Bake for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove caramel corn from the baking sheets and cool completely on waxed paper. Store in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Yield: 2/3 cup

Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, published by William and Morrow, 1993.

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4.8 6
The most time-consuming part of this recipe was making the Bayou Blast spice blend. But it wasn't for naught, I'll use it on a chicken later this week. Everyone at my Red Sox party loved it; it was a great spin on the original! Check out my blog for more comments! (TannerV on Blogspot item not reviewed by moderator and published
I couldn't find Spanish redskin peanuts, so I used a honey-roasted, crunchy-coated peanut. Delish. This was a very good recipe. Packs a lot of heat, but the flavors work really well together. My guests loved it, including a toddler! Will definitely make it again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
ad macadamia nuts item not reviewed by moderator and published
we added holiday colored m&ms item not reviewed by moderator and published
Best Popcorn I ever Ate . The Name of this , is off - Not Sweat at all but good , good , good ! item not reviewed by moderator and published
very good great time to have receipt for ball games item not reviewed by moderator and published

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Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen