Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Gingerbread Popcorn

You know those huge tins of popcorn that they sell around the holidays? You'd smile politely when you got it, have a few bites of popcorn that tasted slightly stale and flavorless, then put it aside before finally chucking it sometime around Valentine's Day. This popcorn is like the opposite of that.

This popcorn is bursting with flavor. It's sweet and sticky and has been referred to as "crack corn" by more than one person. This recipe provided me with the opportunity to actually pop my own popcorn on the stove, instead of using the old reliable microwave. It was much easier than I expected, and almost as fast. Just be careful when you pop it - some of the kernels like to escape when you crack the lid to vent some of the steam.

When you need a break from cookies, brownies, etc., but still want something that reminds you of the wintertime, this is for you. Put it out at a party and watch it disappear. Or just eat it all yourself. I won't tell.

Gingerbread Popcorn (from Culinary in the Desert)

15 cups popped popcorn
16 tablespoons butter
2 cups packed brown sugar (I used a mix of light and dark)
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 250.

Line 2 large baking dishes with foil and coat with cooking spray. Fill each with 7 1/2 cups popcorn (I eyeballed this, no need to be precise).

Combine butter, brown sugar, molasses, corn syrup, ginger, cinnamon, and salt in a large, heavy bottom saucepan. Heat over medium heat until mixture boils. Boil for 5 minutes; stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Pour over popcorn; toss to coat.

Bake at 250 for one hour, carefully stirring the warm mixture about every 15 minutes. Cool completely.