One thing that’s really important to me is creating family traditions.
I want my kids to be able to have those special memories, but life gets busy, and it’s easy to push those things aside.
We live in an area where teams come for spring training. It’s really easy when you have something like that nearby to put off going because there’s always next year.
One of the snacks that I packed was this Caramel Crunch Popcorn Mix. It is easy to make and feeds a crowd. In retrospect, caramel corn probably wasn’t the best choice for several hours in 90+ degree heat, but we still enjoyed it (sticky mess and all).
This recipe is also very flexible. It’s a perfect clean-out-the-cabinet recipe because you can easily substitute whatever cereal or nuts you have on hand. So, the next time that you need a sweet treat for a crowd, give this popcorn mix a try!
Caramel Crunch Popcorn Mix
- 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk (fat free ok)
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pinch or two of kosher salt
- 8 cups plain popped popcorn
- 4 cups cereal*
- 3 cups pretzels
- 1 cup peanuts**
- Preheat oven to 225 F. Place oven rack in the center of the oven.
- Line a large (sheet pan) or two smaller baking sheets (half sheet pans) with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Add popcorn mix ingredients to baking sheet(s) in a single layer. Set aside.
- To make the caramel, combine caramel ingredients in a large saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a boil.
- Continue cooking, whisking constantly, for 3 minutes.
- Pour caramel over popcorn mix ingredients. Don't worry if everything isn't covered.
- Bake for 15 minutes. If entire mix won't fit on middle rack, bake one tray at a time. I've found that the caramel will burn if it's closer to the heating elements.
- Stir, and continue to bake another 15 minutes. Repeat this process for a total baking time of 60 minutes.
- Stir one final time.
- Let mix cool to room temperature, and break into pieces.