Sunday, December 2, 2012

Gift Idea - Turtle Popcorn

We are big fans of popcorn.  It is one of our favorite snacks and is made quite a few times a week.  We enjoy both microwave and stove-top.  The convenience of microwave popcorn is great, but nothing beats Whirley Pop popcorn.  While many make popcorn on the stove top because it is healthier, I make it this way for the flavor options.  Sweet or savory the flavor options for stove-top popcorn are endless

Most of the time I go for the quick and easy popcorn "recipes" - kettle corn, cheesy corn, spicy, etc. - but I also like recipes that really bump up the flavor and provide a little more punch.  When I saw this wonderfully delicious recipe while scouring Cravings of a Lunatic for my Secret Recipe Club assignment back in October I knew it was time to make some pumped up popcorn.  I didn't get a chance to make it, but have been thinking about it since then.


My plan was to make ONE batch and give it to the kids' teachers as a little Thanksgiving treat.  That one batch was quickly devoured and I ended up having to make another batch.  I got smart with the second batch and quickly packaged it up before it could disappear as well.


This crunchy, chewy, nutty, caramely, chocolaty popcorn makes a great treat and will definitely be made again - and again, and again- as gifts and for our own snacking pleasure.  And I recommend that if you decide to make it, plan on making a double batch right from the start.


Turtle Popcorn

3/4 cup popcorn kernels
1 Tbsp. popcorn oil (or vegetable oil)
1 tsp. salt
1 cup pecans, rougly chopped
1 cup butter
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup corn syrup
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven 200.
Over medium high heat, heat 1 tsp oil in whirley popper or large heavy bottom pan.  Add kernels.  Stir continuously until popping has stopped.  Dump popcorn into large roasting pan, add salt and pecans, toss until nuts are evenly distributed.  In large saucepan combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup.  Over medium high heat bring this mixture to a boil.  Keep at a boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.  Add chocolate chips, stir until melted and smooth.  Pour over popcorn.  Toss gently with wooden spoon until popcorn is coated.  Place in preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from oven.  Pour popcorn onto parchment paper until cool.

Store in tightly sealed continer