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Borden Cracker Jack Recipe
Borden Cracker Jack
By Todd Wilbur

Recipe Type: Snack
Calories: 197
Cook Time: 1 hour
Recipe Rating: 4.5 (2 reviews)
In 1871 a German immigrant named F. W. Rueckheim came to Chicago with $200 in his pocket. He used all of his money to open a small popcorn shop in the city and started selling a sweet caramel-and molasses-coated popcorn confection. Rueckheims big break came in 1893, when the treat was served at Chicagos first worlds fair. From then on the popcorns popularity grew enormously. In 1896 a salesman tasting the treat for the first time said, "that's a cracker jack," and the name stuck. Shortly after Cracker Jacks debut another customer commented, "The more you eat, the more you want," and that's still the slogan today.

In 1912 the Cracker Jack Company started adding toy surprised, ranging from small books to miniature metal toy trains. To date they have given away more than 17 billion toy surprised. In 1964 Borden, Inc. bought the Cracker Jack Company, and today the Cracker Jack division is the largest user of popcorn in the world, popping more than twenty tons of corn a day. 

Source: "Top Secret Recipes" by Todd Wilbur.

4 quarts popped popcorn
(or 1 1/3 bags microwave popcorn)
1 cups Spanish peanuts
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tablepoons molasses
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

2. Combine the popcorn and peanuts in a metal bowl or on a cookie sheet and place in the preheated oven.

3. Combine all of the remaining ingredients in a saucepan.

4. Stirring over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil.

5. Using a cooking thermometer, bring the mixture to the hard-ball stage (260-275 degrees, or the point at which the syrup, when dripped into cold water, forms a hard but pliable ball). This will take about 20 to 25 minutes (or until you notice the mixture turning a slightly darker brown).

6. Remove the popcorn and peanuts from the oven and, working quickly, pour the caramel mixture in a fine stream over them. Then place them back in the oven for 10 minutes.

7. Mix well every five minutes, so that all of the popcorn is coated.

8. Cool and store in a covered container to preserve freshness.

Makes 4 Quarts

It's IS a Cracker Jack Recipe
Submitted on: 05/02/13
Delicious! Easy to make. Crispy. Delicious. Only thing missing was the Toy Surprise!
Submitted on: 04/29/12
This is good. Flavor's there, but you can control how much or little sweetness you want. I used raw peanuts, slightly roasted and added a little sprinkling of salt upon cooling for personal preference. Very easy & good! Did half cookie sheet heavy syrup and other half light syrup. We both got we wanted, same recipe. I thought it was better than cracker jack!