Yum. Crunchy, sweet, salty and then chocolaty! I made these treats and they were a hit with mostly me, Mark and Jack (Andy’s friends) and my sis in law Linda. She kept telling Patrick that they were good “Patrick this is good!” but sadly he refuses to enjoy popcorn in any form. I happen to love popcorn. It is up there with ice cream and brownies and lasagna. So when I came across this recipe in Cooking Light – I was eager to try it. Make no mistake, there is nothing really “lite” about these nuggets save for the fact popcorn replaces nuts. Oh and speaking of nuts, my niece Emily who is severely allergic took a look at these and said, “wow, nuts” (clearly dissapointed that I made something so obviously nutty and placed it right in front her!) But I was happy to report that these treats were miraculously nut free! The brittle is good as is – or, like me you can dip or drizzle them with chocolate. If you choose to keep them clean, crunch the brittle and mix it into vanilla ice cream. Yum.
These can be a little tricky to make in that you must be careful working with the hot sugar – and you need a candy thermometer. But beyond that – not too difficult. Then of course the chocolate – the tempering of the chocolate. See past posts for that and remember if you are into it, investing in a small tempering machine can be very helpful.
Oh, and these little gems last a long time so great for the holidays.
5 1/2 cups popcorn (I cooked in a tad of oil and salted – you can also use plain, or air popped but I like the salt with the sweet)
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt (unless you salted your popcorn like me)
Line a baking sheet with foil and coat foil with cooking spray.
Place popcorn in a lare zip lock bag. Seal and crush with a mallet or rolling pin. Set aside.
Place sugar, syrup and water and a medium small saucepan and cook for 1 minute or until sugar dissolves. Stir to help it melt.
Now take next steps carefully as this mixture will become very hot.
Then cook, over medium high heat without stirring until a candy thermometer registers at 270 degrees (should take 7-9 minutes or so) then add molasses and butter – and cook until therm registers at 290 degrees. Remove from heat.
Stir in baking soda, vanilla and salt. Then add the reserved popcorn and mix to combine quickly – then carefully pour onto prepared baking sheet. Spread with a palet knife or back of a spoon to flatten as best you can.
Let cool completely then break or cut into chunks. Dip in tempered chocolate for an extra treat!