It’s root, root, root for the home cook with this delicious mash-up between homemade Cracker Jacks and fudgy brownies.
Caramel-Peanut Popcorn Brownies
- 1 (18-ounce) box chocolate brownie mix*
- 2½ cups red skin raw peanuts, divided
- ¼ cup water
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 6 cups popped white kernel popcorn*
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Garnish: flaked sea salt
- Preheat oven to 325°. Spray a 9-inch square cast-iron skillet with baking spray with flour.
- In a large bowl, stir together brownie mix, ½ cup peanuts, ¼ cup water, oil, and egg until combined. Spread batter into prepared skillet.
- Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 250°.
- Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Place popcorn and remaining 2 cups peanuts on prepared pan, tossing to combine.
- In a medium enamel-coated cast-iron Dutch oven, bring brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and vanilla to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring once halfway through cook time. Remove from heat; add baking soda and salt, stirring to combine. Pour caramel mixture onto popcorn mixture, stirring to coat.
- Bake for 45 minutes, removing pan and stirring mixture very well every 15 minutes to evenly coat popcorn with caramel. While still warm and sticky, spoon about half of caramel corn onto baked brownie. Let cool for 20 minutes before cutting and serving. Store brownies and leftover caramel corn in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
*We used Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix and Orville Redenbacher’s Naturals Simply Salted Microwave Popcorn.