Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Popcorn Cookies!

Last week when I wrote about how to pop popcorn on the stovetop, I received lots of comments about other fun things to do with popcorn. Check out the comments here. I also received an email from a friend who described an even better way to prepare popcorn...

Hey, you can also pop popcorn in a brown paper lunch bag in the microwave.  Cheap! Cheap!  No preservatives, no nothing.  Just add corn, enough to cover bottom of bag, fold top of bag down several times, and pop!  No messy, greasy soup kettle to clean! 

p.s.  if you like hot stuff, Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce is really good on popcorn too! 

How 'bout that for easy and convenient? Now, since we've got the popcorn easily at hand...I've got a fun recipe to go with it or for it to go with...or for with it to go...oh dear it's beginning to feel like a Monday for sure. A few weeks ago I came across a wonderful new cookbook, written by Deb Perelman, the author of one of my favorite food blogs Smitten Kitchen.

Featured on the back cover and inside in beautifully photographed glory are these cookies.

Simple and unique, they are so easy to bake and a real adventure to eat.

Recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Here's what you need:

4 to 4 1/2 cups popcorn, buttered and salted (and unpopped kernels sorted out)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Here's what to do:
In the bowl of an electric mixer add softened butter {I used margarine in one batch and the butter batch was much better. The margarine will do if you don't want to run to the store, but if you have a choice, use the real deal} brown sugar, sugar, egg and vanilla and mix until well combined.

In a separate bowl sift together (with a whisk) the flour and the baking soda. 

With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in small batches to the sugar mixture stopping mixer from time to time to scrape the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Now for the fun, and for the trickiest part of our endeavor...fold the popcorn into the cookie dough. 

Mrs. Perelman instructs, "Fold in the cooled popcorn so that it is evenly distributed through the batter, which will seem like a ridiculous instruction because there is so much popcorn and so little cookie batter but it works."

She also says not to fret over the pieces of popcorn that will inevitably break, "the mixed-size pieces are a part of the cookie's charm."

I don't know about you, but I'm a big fan of a gal who sees charm in a cookie!

Spoon dough in very heaping tablespoon sized scoops onto cookie sheets making sure to leave 2 inches between cookies. 

Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 being very careful not to over bake. 

One recipe yields about 2 dozen cookies, give or take a few which were surely consumed in dough form! 
They really are best in buttered-popcorn-cookie-dough form, but bake them if you must!

NOTE: These cookies need to be kept in a sealed container so that they stay fresh as long as possible. Plan to eat them no longer than 2 days after baking, after that, the popcorn can get rather stale.

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