Maple Cracker Jacks
4 cups of popped plain popcorn
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
Boil maple syrup, butter, sugar and salt until it reaches soft ball stage or 240 on a thermometer. ** A small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms a soft, flexible ball, but flattens like a pancake after a few moments in your hand.
Off the heat, add vanilla and soda and stir well to combine. Mixture will sputter some. Add peanuts and stir quickly to coat.
Immediately pour over popcorn and toss to distribute evenly.
Redistribute evenly in a ‘single’ layer onto a baking sheet. Bake 250F for 1 hr.
I served this at the hotel with a butterscotch tart and Salty popcorn ice cream.