Tuesday, December 17, 2013

At Home: Candied Popcorn

We already made cake pops for our cousin Alanna's baby shower, and then I saw this adorable picture of pink popcorn on Pinterest that I knew would just add to the overall pink girly theme of our dessert bar.  You can get pretty creative and choose different colors, but we went with pink of course.  Next on What Micky Eats...At Home, I share how we made Candied Popcorn.  My sister-in-law, Corrine, ordered pink paper bags so we could easily fill and display the popcorn.  You could also make a big batch and store in a glass jar.  Kids would enjoy this treat, and it would make a lovely holiday gift!

Candied Popcorn (Adapted from A Mom Not A Pro)
  • 12 cups plain popcorn (2 microwave bags)
  • 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk (1 can)
  • 3 oz. strawberry or other flavored gelatin (1 package)

- Heat oven to 300 degrees.
- Pop popcorn according to directions.
- Pour popcorn into a disposable aluminum roasting pan. Keep warm in oven.
- Combine sweetened condensed milk and dry gelatin in medium saucepan. Heat and stir over low heat until mixture is slightly thickened and bubbly, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Pour mixture over popcorn. Stir gently to coat using a long-handled wooden spoon.
- Bake for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
- Carefully turn out onto large piece of lightly buttered foil; spread out in a thin layer.
- Let cool. Break into pieces or clusters.

Be careful not to burn your popcorn. I was doing too many things at once and didn't pay attention, so I burned the first bag in the microwave. #fail.  I ended up using one bag of plain and one bag of buttered, and then mixed the two together.  The plain seemed to coat better with the gelatin.  I highly recommend using plain popcorn over the buttered flavor.  Also, once you coat the popcorn, be sure to let it dry out thoroughly in an even layer.  Otherwise, some pieces will be soggy.  (I also think the buttered popcorn came out a bit more soggy than the plain).  Another tip is to clean your pan right away, otherwise the gelatin will stick causing a mess.  I soaked my pan in hot water and cleaned it right after pouring all the sauce on the popcorn, so it was easy peasy.  Overall, the strawberry flavor really came through.  I would have liked the color to be more baby pink than flamingo pink, but it still worked with our baby shower theme.  For our dessert bar we labeled these "She's Ready to Pop"corn! - how cute  is that?  Try it with other flavors to make a colorful mix for birthday parties.  Grape, orange, cherry, lime - the possibilities are endless!  We added some mini marshmallows to our mix after it dried and before stuffing in the bags, but peanuts or mini pretzels would be good too for that salty/sweet combo.

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