Why waste your gingerbread quota on inedible houses when you can make incredible gingerbread popcorn? It will be poppin’ around the Christmas tree and melting on the tips of your tongues. Suffice it to say, this is the BEST snack we’ve ever made. It is the horse-drawn carriage to Cinderella’s ordinary pumpkin. The fairy godmother of the spice cupboard will bippity-boppity-boo one cup of kernels into two batches of flavours. Make both the gingerbread popcorn and the chili variety for the holidays and you are guaranteed a more-than-merry little Christmas.
Gingerbread Popcorn (adapted from about.com)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup popcorn kernels
- ¾ cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cloves
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
Prepare oil in a large pot on medium heat and drop three “test” kernels in until popped. Add rest of the popcorn, shaking the pot constantly to avoid burning the little darlings. They are quite sensitive.
Once popcorn is popped, remove from heat and set half aside for the gingerbread popcorn and preheat oven to 200.
In same saucepan, combine butter, sugar, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt over medium-low until mixture looks syrupy. Let it bubble a bit, stirring constantly so that it doesn’t stick to the pan.
Add baking soda (weird but necessary, as you will bake the glazed popcorn to harden it). Pour over popcorn.
On a baking sheet lined with parchment, spread the puffed up kernels evenly and inject into your hearth (oven) for 1 hour, nudging it around a bit every 15 minutes or so.
Behold the best thing you will ever eat this holiday season. And the seasons after.
Cheesy Chili Popcorn (adapted from allrecipes.com)
- ½ popped popcorn (…about 8 cups, see above recipe)
- ¼ smidgeon of butter
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsps parmesan cheese powder
Melt butter with spices and cheese until combined. Pour over popcorn and toss vigorously. Great for parties.