Caramel Popcorn and Peanuts

5 quarts popped popcorn
2 cups roasted shelled Virginia-type peanuts
1 cup butter or margarine (1/2 pound)
2 cups light brown sugar -- firmly packed
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Place popped corn and peanuts in a large shallow 18 12 2-inch baking pan; keep warm in a 250 degree oven. Meanwhile, combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a heavy 2-quart saucepan; cook and stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook to firm ball stage (248 degrees on candy thermometer). Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Remove popped corn and peanuts from oven; immediately pour a steady stream of syrup over popped corn and peanuts. Mix well. Return to oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container.


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