Cinnamon Bun Popcorn

If the current cold snap has you in the mood to immerse yourself in a cinnamon and white chocolate-covered baking project, then I’ve got the perfect little number for you today.  I would love to speak in depth about it, but I was taught not to talk with my mouth full.  So I’ll just say (in between bites, of course) that this popcorn is a hit wherever it goes (slumber parties, bake sales, or your family room), it makes a perfect hostess gift, and it would be a terrific addition to any Thanksgiving dessert buffet.

Stay warm out there.  Have a great week.

SERVES:  2 (kidding)
SOURCE:  adapted from this recipe

10 c. freshly popped corn
1/2 c. chopped pecans, toasted

1 c. brown sugar (C & H Brown Sugar is on sale)
1/2 c. butter (1 stick) (Land o’ Lakes Butter is on sale)
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1/2 c. water
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. kosher salt

1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 t. baking soda

1 c. vanilla candy melts or white chocolate chips (Nestle Morsels are on sale)
1/2 t. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 300.  Spread popcorn and toasted pecans on a parchment paper** lined cookie sheet (with sides) and place in the oven while you make the toffee mixture.

Combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, water, cinnamon and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  You’re going to bring the mixture up to the hard ball stage on a candy thermometer (260 degrees); this will take roughly 15 minutes.  Stir the mixture constantly while it boils; watch carefully so that it does not boil over.  When the mixture reaches 260 degrees, add the vanilla and baking soda and stir to combine (it will sizzle).  Remove pan from heat.  Remove popcorn from oven.  Working quickly, pour the toffee mixture over the popcorn in a thin stream.  Mix the popcorn so that each kernel is coated with toffee.  Put the pan back into the oven for fifteen minutes, then stir once again, scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula so that all the toffee gets incorporated into the popcorn and nuts.  Repeat this step once more if necessary to get it all coated.

Allow popcorn mixture to cool slightly while you melt the candy melts or white chocolate chips according to package directions.  Stir cinnamon in to melted white chocolate.  Allow white chocolate to cool slightly before transferring it to a pastry bag (or a small Ziplock bag; see note).  Snip small corner off of bag, drizzle popcorn mixture with white chocolate.  Allow mixture to cool completely, then use your hands to break the big chunks into smaller clusters.  Store popcorn in an airtight container (if there’s any left at that point).

NOTE:  I find it easiest to put the plastic bag in a drinking glass, pulling the open edges of the bag down over the top of the glass.  Scrape your warm chocolate into the bag, then lift the bag out of the glass and seal it, squeezing out the excess air.  Snip the corner and drizzle the chocolate over your popcorn.
** Reynold’s Parchment Paper is on sale

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous, News | November 13th, 2013