Happy National Popcorn Day!

19 Jan

Happy National Popcorn Day! Since this blog started our as an ode to all things snacks. I thought it would be appropriate to mention today as a day of celebration. We all have co-workers who make popcorn in the office and it’s like a chain reaction. Everyone makes popcorn. And then there are those who burn said popcorn and are shunned from the office. But in all seriousness, who doesn’t like popcorn. It’s super versatile, fun to make and healthy (unless you’re pouring massive amounts of butter on it). In celebration of the day give one of these recipes a try – here are some fun and traditional twists on popcorn.

Caramel Popcorn (Recipe courtesy of AllRecipes.com)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 quarts popped popcorn

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (95 degrees C). Place popcorn in a very large bowl.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.
  3. Place in two large shallow baking dishes and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces.
  4. Yields five quarts.

Sweet & Salty Kettle Corn (Recipe courtesy of Everyday with Rachel Ray) Yes, I can still eat a whole pot!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

Directions:

  1. In a large pot with a tight-fitting lid (I’d recommend the Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper), heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the popcorn. When the oils sizzles, sprinkle the sugar over the kernels. Cover and shake the pan or turn the pan handle until the popping slows down (about 3 minutes). Remove from the heat and toss with the salt.

.

Cocoa-Cayenne Popcorn Balls (Recipe courtesy of Chow)

Ingredients:
  • 9 cups plain popped popcorn
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Zest of 1 medium orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Candy thermometer*
Instructions:
  1. Coat a large heatproof bowl with butter, vegetable oil, or cooking spray and place popcorn in the bowl.
  2. Place sugar, corn syrup, water, vinegar, and salt in a medium saucepan and stir to combine. Place over high heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Bring to a boil and cook until mixture registers 260°F on a candy thermometer, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter, cocoa, orange zest, cayenne, and vanilla until melted and smooth.
  3. Immediately drizzle sugar mixture over popcorn. Stir continuously with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom of the bowl, until popcorn is thoroughly coated and cool enough to handle, about 3 minutes.
  4. Using buttered or oiled hands, tightly press mixture (it may still be a bit warm) into 3-inch rounds. Place on waxed or parchment paper to cool completely, about 15 to 20 minutes. This recipe makes 6 3inch popcorn balls.

*A good candy thermometer is needed for this recipe. The Love Muffin just bought me one. Check out CDN TCG400 Professional Candy & Deep Fry Thermometer.

And if none of these strike your fancy, I would recommend tried and true Orville Redenbacher’s.

Happy National Popcorn Day!!

~cdog

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