Thursday, September 6, 2012

maple popcorn

Whether you have kids or not this snack recipe is a show stopper.  When I tasted this salty sweet-almost caramel tasting flavored popcorn I was surprised at how good it was.  This is an after school snack at our house but if you don't have anyone to feed after school snacks to, you can make this for a fantasy football draft party (I can't believe these exist but they do-I love you Justin), a poker night, or just sitting on the couch watching a movie.

Like usual, I decided to try a new recipe right in the middle of all my preparations for the debut of Ladytroupe Sweets at Market Day in Addis Ababa this Friday-that's tomorrow!  Holy cow!  I do this to myself every time.  I have a list of a million things to do but instead I pull out a cookbook to try something new, THAT very moment.  I guess it's a bit of procrastination.
Ashlynn was trying to sneak a piece while I had the camera out.  
This popcorn recipe came from The Homemade Pantry. I know I've raved about this cookbook before but honestly, every recipe I've tried has been straight forward with great annotated instructions and delicious.  The Maple Popcorn recipe is no different.

Pancake Syrup Popcorn (I'm adapting this slightly because I don't want to take credit for the original and I didn't have real maple syrup.  I used Log Cabin pancake syrup instead.  It was amazing)
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup unpopped popcorn
1 cup pancake syrup
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp course salt
1/4 tsp baking soda at high altitude (1/2 tsp at low altitude)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract is fine-I'm just a tad obsessed with the Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Rub butter on two large cookie sheets and a bit inside a large bowl (the biggest one you have)

Pop the popcorn on the stove or in an air popper.  If doing it on the stove Alana Chernila has a great set of instructions.  Heat 8 Tbsp oil (I used a combination of vegetable and olive) in a large pot on medium high heat.  Throw in a few kernels.  When they pop remove the pot from the heat, add the remaining kernels and the salt and cover the pot.  Count to ten. Shift the lid so there is a small crack so the steam can exit.  Return the pot to the burner and shake the pot with one hand while holding the cracked lid with the other as the kernels start to pop.  You will hear when there is no more popping.  Quickly remove the pot from the heat and pour the popcorn into a huge bowl.

This was my first time popping popcorn in a pot on the stove.  It was super easy and quick.  I used a tall pot with a lid.  The one cup of corn kernels really piles up and filled my large pot that I use for boiling noodles or making soups.  One warning: be careful with the hot oil.  I had a bit splatter and burn my hand when I was pouring in the kernels.  Wearing hot pads might be a good idea!

For the syrup melt the butter with the syrup, sugar and salt in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and don't stir.  Just let it bubble and froth for 5 minutes.  Then add the vanilla and baking soda.  Next pour the syrup in a slow stream over the popcorn and stirring with your other hand.  Try to coat the popcorn as well as you can.  It will get clumped together but if you stir and gently fold all the syrup it should all get coated.

Transfer the popcorn to the buttered cookie sheets and bake for one hour stirring or turning over the popcorn bunches every 15 minutes.  I broke up some of the large chunks as I stirred as well.  Once the popcorn is cooled completely you can store it in a air tight container at room temperature.  But don't be surprised if at least half of it is eaten on the first day!


Anonymous said...

I've been thinking about making popcorn on the stovetop for eons now and maple is one of my favorite flavors of all time. (I too have a crush on the NM vanilla bean paste--would you believe me if I said I refused to buy vanilla at the commissary and waiting instead for weeks for my KAF order to arrive?) :) Can't wait to hear how the market goes!!!!!!

Sara said...

Oh, I can believe it. That paste is so fragrant and lovely! You should definitely try this recipe and pick up the cook book for that matter. It's got some great stuff in it. This popcorn is completely addictive. It fed me while I baked this week!