Tag Archives: popcorn

Carmel Popcorn

Like Garrett’s popcorn, I went for a salty sweet mix with my popcorn, combining the cheese and carmel. Carmel corn turned out to be a bit more of a challenge than the cheese, but much tastier.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup popping corn
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp. real maple syrup (optional)

Start by melting the coconut oil in a medium-sized pan at medium-high heat. When the solid becomes a liquid, toss in the popcorn kernels.

Again, a non-stick pan works best for making popcorn.

 

When the popping sound start to fade to approximately 5-10 seconds apart, pour the popcorn in a large paper bag and shake the bag around a bit to release any excess oil. I used the bags they give you at the grocery store.

Spread the popped popcorn out on either a roasting pan or 13″ x 9″ baking pan, basically something that has sides to hold everything in.  Set this aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan (you’ll want a larger pan because the carmel foams up when it cooks) begin melting the butter.  Stir in the salt, brown sugar, corn syrup, baking soda and maple syrup (use only real maple sugar, not Aunt Jemima’s). Keep stirring until everything is thoroughly combined, then place the candy thermometer on the side of the pan. 

You want it sitting in the liquid without allowing it to touch the bottom.  Let this heat, without stirring, until the thermometer reads 235 degrees Farenheit or the soft ball stage. 

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 250 degrees Farenheit.

Immediately pour your carmel sauce over the popcorn, attempting to cover it all (you will have a chance to cover everything as it cooks in the oven). 

Place the popcorn in the oven for an hour, intermittently flipping over the popcorn with a spatula every 10-15 minutes until all of the remaining carmel sauce on the bottom of the pan is coating the popcorn.  I took my spatula, scraped the bottom, then flipped the sticky mess of carmel back over the popcorn.

When the popcorn seems complete, immediately set the popcorn onto a cookie cooling rack, separating the large clumps as you go. If you wait too long, the carmel will start to harden, causing the popcorn to stick fast to your pan.  If this happens, just toss the pan back into the oven for 5 minutes and try again.

If you are combining the cheese and carmel popcorn, toss them together in a large container or another paper bag and shake until they disperse evenly. 

The carmel popcorn will last in your household for a week or two.  It has a sticky quality, but melts in your mouth unlike the store-bought kind.  The more carmel sauce the better, in my opinion, coat the pieces until they’re dripping.  The best part of making it from scratch is, if you aren’t like me, and like your carmel sauce lightly sprinkled on top of the popcorn, you can create it to your preference. 

Mixing both the carmel and cheese popcorn allowed for a salty sweet mix most people enjoy (think pretzel M & M’s or trail mix). The added cayenne really spiced up the mix, and was almost impossible to stop eating without having someone else pull the treat right out from your hands.  I chose to mix the two together in the bag I mixed the cheese popcorn in, then some of the remaining seasoning stuck to the carmel. Delicious. It was also a great substitute to passing out cookies or chocolate for Christmas.

 

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Cheesy Popcorn

I took a bit of a break to collect myself for the holidays. I’m back and have prepared quite a few dishes to share over the next few days.

I try to make a Christmas craft every year to pass out to work, family, or friends. This year I attempted several knock-off Garrett’s popcorn recipes adding a few other ingredients to spice up the mix.

To make this you’ll need:

  • 1 cup popping corn
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp. butter popping oil (and more for coating)
  • 1 package of Mac ‘n’ Cheese powder (out of the box)
  • 1 Tbsp. mustard powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp. garlic salt

If you have never made homemade popcorn from the pan, you are in for a treat.

Start by heating the two oils until the solid coconut oil melts in a medium-sized saucepan.

I attempted this in a soup stock pot, but the pan doesn’t heat properly ending up with half a cup of browned kernels and quite a few burnt popped pieces.  Also, I pulled out my non-stick pots from college as the stainless steel pots my mom swears by kept burning the popped pieces. If you are cooking for someone with an allergy to coconut, substitute in olive oil.

Add in the popcorn kernels to the heated oils and cover the pan.

When the kernels start to pop, shake the pot every minute or so to get the unpopped kernels to the bottom. It also helps from scorching the popped popcorn pieces.

As the popcorn fills the pan, you can shake half out into a large brown paper bag if the popcorn starts to push open the cover on the pan. Continue popping the kernels until the popping slows to 5-10 seconds apart.  Toss the remaining popcorn in the brown paper bag.  Add in the powdered cheese, ground mustard, garlic salt and cayenne.

Close the paper bag and shake around. Sprinkle in a few drops of the buttery popping oil as desired to catch more of the seasoning.

 

The popcorn has a great spicy kick to it, but unlike Garrett’s Cheese, it doesn’t quite coat every morsel of the kernel leaving a greasy orange residue on your hands. Instead there’s a light, salty, cheesy taste.

I popped these into holiday inspired paper bags, layered caramel corn on top (or mixed them together) and passed them out to everyone I ran into over the holidays. On my way to our Christmas Eve destination I made the mistake of keeping the bucket of popcorn in my lap during the 45 minute drive. It was very hard to stop eating once I started, which several of my friends also admitted to not being able to stop eating it. It’s a healthier version of the usual array of holiday chocolates, cookies, cakes and sweets that we overload on.

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Sriracha-cha

Sarah and I decided to combine two of our favorite things; sriracha asian hot sauce (a.k.a. Rooster Sauce) and stove top popcorn. I grew up making popcorn on the stove as opposed to microwaveable popcorn and there is a huge difference. I took this recipe with me to college, and the cheap but filling snack fed drunken partiers, studying brains, and movie nights throughout the four years. When I returned home, I perfected the recipe by adding spices to the normal butter, salt and pepper.

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To make this healthier snack, take a large pan and add just enough vegetable, corn, or olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Next, add the popcorn kernels (my mom loves boy scout popcorn and I prefer Orville Redenbacher, but any popping corn works. There’s usually a small section next to the boxes and boxes of microwaveable popcorn). Add enough kernels to cover the bottom of the pan and heat at medium high with a lid. Shake intermittently as the kernels start to pop and when the popping slows to less than 10 seconds in between each pop, pour in a big bowl.

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Our latest popcorn topper was the perfect spice to clear your nasal passages and still be tasty. I mixed 2 tablespoons of sriracha, half a stick of butter and 2 cloves of garlic pressed fresh with my mom’s Pampered Chef garlic press (which is so easy), and melted them together in a pot. When the mix was fully mixed and melted, we poured them on top of our two bowls of popcorn and topped them with parmesan cheese before mixing it all together. Oh so yummy!

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