Friday, December 6, 2013

Gingerbread Popcorn!

Well, doesn't Salem look festive...and super unimpressed! Ha!  That's because this batch of Gingerbread Popcorn is not for us to eat!  We must package it up to gift it away.  
Cory went out for lunch at the Farmer's Market the other day, and told me that the Kettle Corn people were selling gingerbread popcorn!  Ding!  On went the lights!  How could I have never considered a gingerbread popcorn?  This must be rectified! 

This is what I came up with for my version, and this popcorn turned out so totally addictive!  The traditional sweet caramel coating with the deep flavour of the molasses, and spice of the ginger make this popcorn hard to resist.  I've been trying to ignore the presence of this popcorn calling out to me from the cold room (AKA the garage).  I look about as depressed as Salem!  I just wanna eat it all!

re-purposed or up-cycled (whateveryouwannacallit) coffee cans of all different shapes and sizes, by 
gluing regular wrapping paper around them, and topping the lid with a bow.  Add a gift tag, and you're good to go!  

Gingerbread Popcorn

1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
1/2 cup butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
I use a air-popper for my popcorn, and then do my best to remove any unpopped kernels.  My technique is to use two bowls, shake the the first bowl so the seeds fall to the bottom, and then transfer popcorn to the second bowl by hand, leaving all the unpopped kernels behind.
Using a small bowl, add your spices and such: the baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, combine and set aside.  
In a medium pot, using medium-high heat, melt the butter, sugar, corn syrup, molasses and salt together.  Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes, until the caramel is bubbling and dark in colour.  Add the spices, and stir to incorporate.
Take the pot off the heat, and quickly stir in the vanilla and baking soda. The caramel will get light and frothy. I Like to add the caramel to the popcorn in stages, so in a large bowl (grease if necessary) have about a quarter of the popcorn, and then add the caramel, stirring to coat the popcorn as best you're able.  Add another quarter or so, and repeat, until all popcorn is coated in caramel.  
Transfer the popcorn to 1 large sheet or 2 small sheets, and bake the popcorn for about 15 minutes. Take the sheet out of the oven and stir the popcorn to help the popcorn get of an even coat.  Repeat this again after another 15 minute mark etc. for an hour of baking time total.  After which the popcorn should be fairly evenly coated.  Remove from the oven, and allow to cool completely before transferring to airtight containers to store, or gift away!


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