I swear, half the ideas I get for trying recipes are based on items I happen to find sitting next to each other in the pantry. I guess it's a good thing I'm not OCD about my pantry staples. In this case, it was a box of Chex Cereal sitting next to a bag of popcorn kernels. Looking at the Chex reminded me of my Yuzu-Glazed Snack Mix. That got me wondering how I would fare translating a glaze to popcorn. Would it make it soggy, gummy, brittle ... inquiring minds want(ed) to know.
The glaze I wanted to try was to recreate a popcorn I used to get whenever I would stop at a Cracker Barrel. It was an awesome vanilla popcorn. What I ended up with was actually more akin to a Crunch 'n Munch or Fiddle Faddle; I'll have to add peanuts next time. And color me confused about those two - just figured out they're both ConAgra products?? One isn't enough for them??
Anyhow, this turned out so good, I first scooped myself out a little bowl, then couldn't stop - I ended up eating the whole thing!! So light and crispy, and super easy. Can't wait to make it again. You can certainly do it with any popcorn you want, but I made mine the way I have been making all my popcorn lately ... microwaved in a little brown paper lunch bag. Just pour a half cup of kernels into the bag, fold down the top and set the microwave to 3 minutes. As with any microwave popcorn, stop when there are a few seconds between pops. Time will vary by machine.
TIP: I read a new trick recently for microwaved popcorn, so this gave me a chance to try it out. When you take your popcorn out of the microwave, snip a small corner out of the bottom of the bag and give it a shake over the trash. That way, any remaining un-popped kernels will fall out into the trash. Love it!
1/2 c popcorn kernels - popped
3 T butter
3 T sugar
1/4 t baking soda
1/8 t salt
2 t vanilla
- Preheat oven to 250
- Pour your popped popcorn into a bowl large enough to toss it in; set aside
- Over medium heat, bring the butter, sugar, baking soda, and salt up to a bubble to start to thicken
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla
- Pour half over the popcorn and, using a large spoon or silicon spatula, toss to coat; repeat with remaining half
- Pour popcorn onto baking sheet lined with parchment or waxed paper
- Bake at 250 for 20", stirring with a spatula half way through, to prevent clumping, then again when just out of the oven - baking helps to re-dry the popcorn and set the glaze
- If you like it sweet AND salty, sprinkle with your favorite salt while still warm
- Let cool or a minute or so, then see if you can stop before eating the whole batch