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I was very excited when I found out the theme for #SundaySupper this week would be Holiday Movies, Music or Television. A very big THANKS to Tammi of Momma’s Meals for hosting. This theme got my brain spinning in lots of different directions as to what I could make. My daughter suggested I make Hot Chocolate, real hot chocolate, like the kids have on the Polar Express. I thought I might make Piggy Pudding, from the John Denver and the Muppet’s version of We Wish You a Merry Christmas. If you’re not familiar with that one, the muppets are singing the part of the song, “now bring us some figgy pudding. . .” and Miss Piggy says, “Piggy Pudding?” Gonzo answers, “No, figgy pudding, it’s made with figs.” Miss Piggy says, “Oh.” And under his breath Gonzo says, “and bacon.” I thought I could make a bacon breakfast savory bread pudding. But in the end I settled on popcorn. I love popcorn, and in Let It Snow one of the reasons for letting it snow is, “I brought some corn for poppin’.” I had already decided that I would be making homemade baked gifts for my nieces and nephew, so popcorn seemed like an excellent answer. I decided to make a popcorn trio, to mimic the trio of popcorn you get in the store bought popcorn tins. . . just a million times better.
So I just had to decide what kinds of popcorn to make. I settled on two sweet and one savory popcorn. First I made a Poppycock that my Grammy Melton made when she was alive. I just remembered a Christmas family reunion when she made it, and it was delicious. It starts with popcorn, pecans and almonds – what a great way to start!
You pop this mixture onto cookie sheets (I needed 3 for a double batch) lined with parchment paper and stick them in the preheated 250° Fahrenheit oven to keep warm while you make the syrup.
Then you make the syrup with sugar, butter, light corn syrup and maple syrup.
Bring the syrup up to 250° – 266° Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a candy thermometer available this is the hard ball stage. Drop a small amount of the syrup in a bowl of cold water. Roll the syrup into a ball, if the ball is hard and holds its shape, it is ready. If it is soft and squishy, it’s not ready yet.
Remove the popcorn mixture from the oven and pour the syrup over to coat. Stir and return to the oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 10. When the 30 minutes is up, turn the popcorn out onto aluminum foil to cool and dry, break it up and store in an air tight container until ready to eat.
- 2 qts. popped corn
- 1 ⅓ cups pecans
- ⅔ cup almonds
- Mix together For syrup:
- 1 ⅓ cups sugar
- 1 cup butter (do not substitute margarine)
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- ¼ cup real maple syrup (if you don’t have real maple syrup, just use an additional ¼ cup light corn syrup)
- Preheat oven to 250° Fahrenheit.
- Pop popcorn as directed for microwave popcorn, or air-pop. Combine popped popcorn, pecans and almonds and mix well. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray and spread popcorn/peanut mixture onto it. Place in the oven to keep warm while you’re preparing the sauce.
- In a sauce pan over medium high heat combine butter, sugar, light corn syrup and maple syrup and bring to a boil. Continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until the hard ball stage is reached (between 250° and 266° Fahrenheit). If you don’t have a candy thermometer, this stage can be determined by dropping a small ball of syrup into a bowl of very cold water. Gather the syrup into a small ball. If it forms a hard ball it is ready, if the ball is still soft and pliable it needs to cook a little longer. Pour syrup over popcorn mixture and stir well to combine.
- Bake for 30 minutes stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and spread on non-stick sprayed aluminum foil to cool. Store in an airtight container until ready to eat.
For the second sweet popcorn I decided to do something for my nephew. His favorite candy is Reese’s. In fact, at Halloween, he trades the other kids 2 for 1 for the candy he likes, he won’t touch any others (he has a couple others he likes, like Twix, I think, but he’s one picky boy). So I thought he would like some Peanut Butter Cup Popcorn for Christmas.
As always this recipe starts with popcorn. This one has peanuts as well. I pop my popcorn in the microwave in paper lunch bags. I was so thrilled when I found this method for popping popcorn last year on allrecipes.com! It works so well, and no need to buy microwave popcorn with all kinds of nasty additives, or have an extra appliance in my kitchen to clutter things up (there are already plenty of those). I just put about 1/2 cup unpopped kernels in a large brown lunch bag, fold the bag over a couple of times, fold down the corners to make sure the bag stays sealed, and microwave it on the popcorn setting on my microwave. Most microwaves nowadays have a popcorn setting, but if yours doesn’t, just pop the popcorn until you hear it stop popping for more than a 3-5 second interval between pops. I usually give my popcorn an extra 30 seconds in addition to my popcorn setting because it’s usually still going pretty strong when it comes to the end of the popcorn setting, and I can’t stand to waste any of those delicious kernels!
- 4 quarts popped popcorn
- 1 cup peanuts
- ¾ cup butter
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow fluff
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 16 oz. milk chocolate, chopped
- Pop popcorn as directed for microwave popcorn, or air-pop. Combine popcorn and peanuts and mix well.
- In a sauce pan over medium high heat combine butter, brown sugar and marshmallow fluff and bring to a boil. Stir in vanilla and peanut butter until melted. Pour peanut butter mixture over popcorn and toss well to coat thoroughly.
- Spread on non-stick sprayed aluminum foil to cool.
- When cooled, break into pieces.
- In a microwave safe bowl, microwave milk chocolate at 50% for 3 minutes (if your microwave doesn’t have a temperature option, you may microwave on high for 30 second intervals, stirring after each until chocolate is fully melted).
- Pour chocolate into a zip-top bag and seal. Snip a tiny hole in one corner of the bag and drizzle chocolate over cooled peanut butter popcorn. Allow to cool again. Break up and store in an air-tight container until you are ready to eat.
After popping enough popcorn I combined the popped popcorn with the peanuts and mixed well, I put this in my trusty pink bowl and set it aside while I made the peanut butter sauce.
In a sauce pan I brought the brown sugar, butter and marshmallow fluff to a boil. The marshmallow fluff was sticky and fun to work with.
Once this mixture came to a boil I removed it from the heat and stirred in the vanilla and peanut butter until the peanut butter was completely melted.
Then I poured the peanut butter sauce over the waiting popcorn, tossed it until all of the popcorn was evenly coated and spread it out on some aluminum foil I had sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
While that was cooling I microwaved milk chocolate at 50% for 3 minutes (if your microwave doesn’t have a temperature option, you may microwave on high for 30 second intervals, stirring after each until chocolate is fully melted) & stirred it well to make sure it was fully melted. If it had not been melted enough I would have continued at 30 second intervals until it was fully melted.
Lasty I poured the melted chocolate into a zip-top bag, cut a tiny hole in the corner and drizzled the chocolate over the popcorn. I let it cool again, broke it apart into small pieces and stored it in an air tight container (more zip top bags) until I was ready to put together my gift.
The last popcorn I included in my popcorn trio was Bacon Lovers Popcorn. Who wouldn’t love Bacon Lover’s Popcorn? This is the easiest one of the three. Instead of starting with air popped popcorn, you pop popcorn in brown lunch bags (just like I talked about above), but instead of just 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels you add 2 Tbsp. melted bacon grease to the bag before popping. You can get the bacon grease from the bacon you use to make the homemade bacon bits in this recipe.
- 1 cup un-popped popcorn
- 2 Tbsp. bacon grease
- ¼ cup homemade bacon bits
- Additional bacon grease if desired, to taste
- Your favorite flavor of Bacon Salt or Bacon Rub from baconsalt.com to taste
- In a large lunch bag combine ½ cup un-popped popcorn with 1 Tbsp. bacon grease. Fold the top of the lunch bag down twice and fold each corner over. Microwave on the popcorn setting, or until popping slows to less than 3 seconds between pops. Repeat with the other ½ cup popcorn and 1 Tbsp. bacon grease.
- Put popped corn in a large bowl and remove any un-popped kernels.
- Add bacon bits and toss well to combine.
- Coat popcorn with additional bacon grease if desired and top with the Bacon Salt of your choice or Bacon Rub & salt to taste.
- Store in an airtight container until ready to eat.
(see the bacon grease drizzling down on the right side)?
Whenever I’m making homemade bacon bits, I buy bacon ends and pieces, it’s less expensive per pound, and works just as well, sometimes better, because sometimes you get some really meaty pieces in there. You never know exactly what you’ll get with ends and pieces, but I thnk that’s part of the fun.
Start by lining a cookie sheet with aluminum foil (this helps with cleanup and makes it easier to get the 2 Tbsp. of bacon grease you’ll need for the recipe). Cover cookie sheet with bacon. Don’t overlap the pieces, but you can put them pretty close together. If you’re using regular slices of bacon and want it to look pretty, you might want to give each piece a little more space than I have in the picture. This is an easy way to cook a lot of bacon at a time without having to stand over the frying pan, turning the pieces, worrying about getting splattered, etc. Cook the bacon in a 400° Fahrenheit oven for 15-20 minutes (start checking for doneness at 15, since everyone likes their bacon different, you’re time may vary). For making bacon bits you will want the bacon to be on the crispy side, closer to the 20 minute mark.
Once you’ve gathered your bacon grease, pop the popcorn as directed. Chop the bacon into bits.
Put the popcorn in a large bowl and remove any unwanted kernels. Toss in 1/4 homemade bacon bits and mix well. Coat popcorn with additional bacon grease, if desired and top with your favorite flavor of bacon salt or bacon rub to taste (you can get it here).
Store in an air tight container until ready to eat.
I thought it would be fun to put these popcorns in a bucket, just like you can get at the store for $5 or $6.
If you were making a homemade gift for your friends or family, what would you make?
Check out the Holiday Movie, Music and Television inspired dishes my #SundaySupper friends have come up with:
Party Appetizers & Snacks:
Oven-Roasted Applesauce Scented with Rosemary & Vanilla-Inspired by the song
“Christmas in the Trenches”– Shockingly Delicious
Roasted Chestnuts Inspired by the movie “The Christmas Song” – Food Lust People Love
A Popcorn Trio Inspired by the song “Let it Snow” – Hot Momma’s Kitchen Chaos
Chai Tea Abominable Snow Buddies Inspired by the movie “Rudolph” – Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Raisin Bran Muffins for a Crowd Inspired by the movie
“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” – In The Kitchen With Audrey and Maurene
Icicle Candy and Reindeer Snacks Inspired by the movie “Snow” – Treats & Trinkets
A Christmas Carol Plum Pudding Inspired by the movie “A Christmas Carol” – No One Likes Crumbley Cookies
Yukon Mashed Potato Cakes Inspired by the movie “Rudolph” – Cookin’ Mimi
Christmas Pudding Inspired by the song “Over the River and Through the Woods” – A Kitchen Hoor
Pumpkin Pudding Inspired by the movie “Nightmare Before Christmas” – Basic N Delicious
Elf-Inspired Christmas “Grams” Inspired by the movie “Elf” – MarocMama
Sugarplums Inspired by the movie “The Nutcracker” – Happy Baking Days
Chai Spiced Roasted Nuts Inspired by the song “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” – Take A Bite Out of Boca
Festive Main Dishes
Maple Syrup Spaghetti– Inspired by the movie “Elf”- Momma’s Meals
Who Hash Inspired by the movie “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” –girlichef
Ginger Orange Glazed Cornish Hens Inspired by the song “The 12 Days of Christmas” –Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
NY Hot Dog with Sabrett-style Onion Sauce Inspired by the movie “Die Hard” – Small Wallet, Big Appetite
Classic Caesar Salad Inspired by the movie “The Santa Clause” – The Little Ferraro Kitchen
Individuals Meatloaves & Horseradish Mashed Potatoes for Mommy’s Little Piggies – Inspired by the movie
“A Christmas Story” – The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Christmas Waffles Inspired by the TV special “A Claymation Christmas Celebration” – Curious Cuisiniere
Filthy Animal Pizza Inspired by the movie “Home Alone” – Foxes Love Lemons
Chicken Orzo Soup Inspired by the song “12 Days of Christmas” – Family Foodie
Brandied Candied Sweet Potatoes Inspired by the song “Christmas Is The Time To Say ‘I Love You’ ” –
Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Sweet Holiday Treats:
Gin and Tonic Cupcakes Inspired by Adam Sandler’s ” The Chanukah Song” – The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Chocolate Chip Shortbread Bars Inspired by the movie “Love Actually” – Magnolia Days
Gingerbread Marshmallows Inspired by the song “Marshmallow World” – Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies Inspired by the movie “The Gremlins” – Killer Bunnies, Inc
White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge Inspired by the song “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” – Alida’s Kitchen
Snowball Cookies – Inspired by the movie “White Christmas” –The Foodie Army Wife
Penuche Fudge Inspired by the movie “Elf” – Pies and Plots
Hot Chocolate Cookies Inspired by the movie “Santa Clause” – Mess Makes Food
South Pacific Coconut Tres Leche Cake Inspired by the movie “South Pacific” –The Ninja Baker
Cookies & Cream Fudge Inspired by the movie “Elf” – The Messy Baker
Toasted Coconut Hot Cocoa– Inspired by the song “Let It Snow”– Chocolate Moosey
The Christmas Gram Inspired by the movie “Elf” – An Appealing Plan
Eggnog Hot Chocolate Inspired by the movie “National Lampoons Christmas Vacation” – Peanut Butter and Peppers
Vermont Hot Cocoa Inspired by the movie “White Christmas” – Kudos Kitchen By Renee
Spiked Hot Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Floats Inspired by the song “Holly Jolly Christmas “ –NeighborFood
This is Christmas; Wine Pairings for Holiday Themed#SundaySupper Recipes – ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
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