Faux Cracker Jacks

Although I’ve been quiet for a couple months, the kitchen has not lay fallow. Not too much creative cooking but lots of jamming including orange marmalade; apricot; two kinds of peach – smooth and chunky; strawberry; fig; plum; grape. That’s kind of a lot for an urban gal with no fruit trees so to speak. Well…. only a couple of lime trees, lemon and grapefruit, oh and tangerine, and a baby apricot. . . I’ll post some jam recipes in the weeks to come but for now let’s talk about fake cracker jack. I found this recipe in the August 2014 edition of Food and Wine it’s from Katie Button who is an up-and-comer chef.

So far, the reviews of these tasty morsels are good.

Cracker Jack Snacks

Jacks 6678

Jacks 6678

Ingredients 6670

Ingredients 6670


¼ cup plus

2 Tbsp canola oil

¼ cup popcorn kernels

1 cup chopped almonds or peanuts (salted and roasted) or maybe macadamias

¼ tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp smoked paprika

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1 cup plus

2 Tbsp sugar

1 ½ tsp kosher salt


Mix together the cumin, cinnamon, paprika, cayenne and set aside.

In a medium saucepan heat 2 Tbsp of canola oil until shimmering. Add the popcorn kernels, cover, shake and pop the corn. Remove the popcorn from the heat and wait 30 seconds before pouring the popcorn into a large bowl. Add the nuts, and spices and toss well to coat the popcorn.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium saucepan combine the remaining ¼ cup of oil, sugar, salt, and ¼ cup of water and bring to a boil stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally until a light amber caramel forms – about 10 minutes. Pour the caramel over the popcorn and toss quickly with spoons to evenly coat the popcorn and nuts. Spread the popcorn mixture on the baking sheet in an even layer and let cool completely. Break into bite-size pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

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