Monday’s post offered a festive savory meal idea that’s pleasing to the eye and the Halloween dinner crowd.
Still, you’d be hard-pressed to find an American kid who, given the choice, would pick savory over sweet food, particularly on Halloween, night of the great candy grab.
Back in the day, the annual Halloween candy haul was crucial for maintaining my personal candy stash. If you have an older brother, you, too, may have suffered through the inevitable despair when you learn he’s capable of scarfing twice as much junk food as you in half as much time. My only recourse to such an injustice was to squirrel away sought-after non-perishables in the nooks and crannies of my bedroom. A meager Halloween candy collection meant more stringent candy rationing for the winter. I had more important concerns than candy scavenging in January. Those trashy kids’ horror novels and Columbo episodes weren’t going to consume themselves.
Now that I’m older, I appreciate a little saltiness with my sweets, and today’s recipe brings those tastes together into one party-appropriate cookie. Below you’ll find a Smitten Kitchen-approved popcorn cookie recipe that bakes up quickly and is sure to please those folks with a sweet and salty craving.
While you can make these popcorn cookies any time of year, I like the idea of bringing them out for Halloween parties. Keep in mind they might not be everyone’s favorite, though. A friend mentioned that she wasn’t a fan of the popcorn texture in the cookie, so if you have a similar aversion to chewy cookies (their texture reminds me of oatmeal raisin cookies), you might want to hand these off to a friend. I’m happy to enjoy the spoils of your baking session.
Buttered Popcorn Cookies
(A Smitten Kitchen Cookbook recipe)
Makes 24 cookies
– 2 TBS vegetable oil or canola oil
- 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- 1 TBS melted butter
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
1. To make the popcorn: Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan until hot. Add the kernels, and cover, shaking the pan to make sure all the kernels are in contact with the bottom of the pan. As soon as you hear the first few kernels pop, shimmy the pan until all of the kernels pop (5 minutes or so). Remove from heat, add melted butter and salt, and transfer to bowl.
2. Now, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Whisk flour and baking soda together. Stir flour mixture into butter-sugar mixture, until combined.
3. Fold in popcorn, making sure to get dough well distributed. It’s okay if the popcorn breaks as you’re mixing, and don’t worry if it seems like there’s too much popcorn for the amount of dough.
4. Scoop heaping-tablespoon-sized mounds 2 inches apart onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges are light brown. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for a few minutes to firm up before transferring them to a rack to cool.