This recipe is an old favorite, and to tell you the truth, I don't know where it came from. I've been making it for a long, long time. I have a huge problem (mostly on my hips) with this snack: when it's in my house, I'm not happy until it's all gone. Because of my lack of self control, I usually only make it a couple of times a year. It's also a great 'food gift' item. —Annelle
cups of popped pop corn
light corn syrup (spray your cup with cooking spray before measuring, and the syrup will all pour right out!)
Spray two of the huge aluminum disposable pans with butter flavored cooking spray. (I keep a couple of these pans all the time for mixing and cooking large quantities. I wash them and keep using them forever. They're so good for this type of recipe because of their tall sides, plus they are light and easy to handle.)
Place popcorn and nuts in a large mixing bowl.
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, butter, salt, syrup and vanilla. Bring to a boil, and boil, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add baking soda. Mixture will bubble up, so you need large, deep pan. Stir vigorously until mixture is smooth.
Pour syrup over popcorn and stir until evenly coated. Spread coated corn and nuts evenly into the two prepared pans and place in preheated oven. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring every ten minutes. (If you would like, bake for about 50 minutes, stirring every ten minutes, and the corn will resemble cracker jacks. I prefer the less browned version.)
Remove pans from oven to cool. (This is optional: take tiny bits of cayenne pepper in your fingers and evenly sprinkle over popcorn and nuts, then mix.) When cool break into bite sized pieces. Store in large zip-lock bags until ready to eat.