Trips to the supermarket are a funny routine for Daisy and me. Before we even reach the door, she argues her case about being too mature to sit in the shopping cart, after which I try to find a way to coax her into the seat. We roll around, gathering all the basic necessities and finish with a trip toward the produce section. By now, we are usually negotiating whether and when she can have ice cream. I get to pontificate to a toddler about the importance of eating a healthy, balanced meal before sugary sweets. Incidentally, I happen to be indulging in a warmed chocolate chip cookie with a tall glass of ice-cold milk while I am telling you my story. As I was saying…It is not long before I run into the Snack Monster and, if I do not give into his demands, I will grab everything off the shelves with big ambitions of cooking a 10-course meal with all the fixings, including several choices of desserts. This is what happens when I go grocery shopping on an empty stomach and accounts for my popularity among the cashiers.
My eye catches a glimpse of those cute, little crinkly bags of Cracker Jacks conveniently hanging from the corner post of the pasta sauce aisle. It really is an odd place to put candy, but, come to think of it, caramel corn would not be bad after a big bowl of pasta marinara, right? Then my left hand does this strange thing and automatically reaches for a bag. Then it opens the bag, reaches in, clasps a small bunch of caramel-covered popcorn and shoves it right into my mouth. All the while, I have been preaching to Daisy about how important it is to eat a proper dinner before chomping on sweets. She must think I am such a hypocrite. Popcorn, even the caramel-covered stuff is not usually a temptation for me. But, Cracker Jacks are a serious problem.
However, there just never seems to be enough of those toasty peanuts in the bag. Is there an embargo on peanuts? It would be really nice if they were evenly dispersed among the popcorn, but inevitably they somehow gather at the bottom of the bag instead, along with the dusty bits and lint. So, last weekend, I decided to take charge of the matter and make my own version at home, with a ridiculous surplus of those peanuts we all love so much. Then, to take it over top, I drenched the popped corn and peanuts with my grandmother’s butter toffee. Damn good stuff, I tell ya and no one has to know how easy it is to make.
Butter Toffee Peanut Popcorn
Makes 9 cups
1 stick of butter
1 cup sugar
2 Tb honey
8 cups popped corn
16 oz jar roasted salted peanuts
Cover two cookie sheets with foil and sprinkle popcorn in a single layer. Add peanuts.
Melt butter, sugar, honey and salt in a heavy-bottomed pan and place over medium-high heat.
Using a wooden spoon, stir occasionally until a golden colour develops and the mixture becomes fluid.
Be careful not to burn the caramel as it will taste bitter.
Pour over the popcorn and peanuts.
Wait 10 minutes before handling.
Candied popcorn is one of those old timey treats that never goes out of fashion and smothered in my grandmother’s butter toffee with oodles of peanuts everywhere makes it impossible to resist. It is so easy to make and everything you need is probably already in your kitchen. Enjoy a big bowl with your family while watching a Christmas classic together or surprise your guests at your next holiday party. Making your own means you will never have to dig around the bottom of the bag for the peanuts.