6 quarts of popped popcorn (plain)
2 cups dry roasted peanuts (optional)
2 sticks (1 cup) margarine or butter
2 cups light brown sugar, well packed
½ cup light (white) corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Place the popped popcorn into two shallow greased baking pans. You may use roasting pans, jelly roll pans, or disposable roasting pans.
Add the peanuts to the popped corn if using. Set aside.
Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, margarine/butter and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring enough to blend. Once the mixture begins to boil, boil for 5 minutes without stirring.
Remove from the heat, and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. The mixture will be light and foamy. Immediately pour over the popcorn in the pans, and stir to coat. Don't worry too much at this point about getting all of the corn coated.
Bake for 1 hour, removing the pans, and giving them each a good stir every 15 minutes. Line the counter top with waxed paper. Dump the corn out onto the waxed paper and separate the pieces.
Allow to cool completely, then store in airtight containers or resealable bags.