Last night, I invited a few friends over for a special screening of Frozen, because no trip home is complete without a movie night in my parents’ home theater. As a well-known Disney fanatic, I’m quite familiar with the film, but my friends, including Teesa, this blog’s most avid reader, had never seen it (!). Naturally, I took it upon myself to right that wrong even if the winter theme didn’t quite fit with Aurora’s 80-degree weather. To make things extra special for our girls’ night in, I made a batch of sweet pink popcorn for our viewing pleasure. Girl power.
The cast of characters: a popped bag of natural popcorn (no butter), 1½ cups sugar, ½ cup whole milk, 2½ teaspoons light corn syrup (just shy of a tablespoon), ¼ teaspoon salt, ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract (not pictured, because I’m a dodo), and 5 drops red food coloring.
To start, pour popped popcorn into a large mixing bowl and set it aside.
In a medium saucepan whisk together sugar, milk, corn syrup and salt, and cook the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.
Once the mixture begins to bubble, step up the stirring and keep it up until it’s really bubbling. Once it reaches that point, keep stirring for about 5 minutes before removing the saucepan from heat.
Stir in vanilla and food coloring.
Drizzle pink sugar mixture over popped popcorn, and gently stir popcorn until evenly coated in pink and the coating begins to dry. You’ll see the popcorn kernels begin to separate.
Pour popcorn onto a large baking sheet or surface lined with parchment paper and allow to dry 30 minutes.
If it’s not dry or crunchy enough to your liking. Pop the baking sheet into the oven at 250 degrees for 15 minutes. Once out of the oven, give it a quick stir and it should dry and harden shortly thereafter.
Not only is this delicious, but for me, it brings back childhood memories of visits to carnivals and state fairs. This stuff is just as tasty even if you don’t have similar nostalgia to draw on. It’s a great and easy way to jazz up a bag of popcorn, and it doesn’t have to be pink either.
Give it a try and enjoy!
Also, last night’s company was a lot of fun. We go way back to our middle and high school days, back when we fell in love with each other despite not looking our best. These days, we don’t do the greatest job keeping in touch, but when you get us back together in one room, we always pick up right where we left off. That’s friendship. Impressive friends, too. One is moving to San Fran for a great new gig, one just officially became a doctor, and Teesa gets her Master’s in Forensic Psychology this Friday. Congratulations, ladies! They’re an impressive bunch and I’m excited to see where their new life chapters take them.
In the meantime, happy Monday!
- 1 bag natural-flavored popcorn, popped
- 1½ cups sugar
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2¼ teaspoons light corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 drops red food coloring
- Pour popped popcorn into a large mixing bowl, set aside.
- In a medium saucepan whisk together sugar, milk, corn syrup and salt. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until sugar has dissolved.
- Heat mixture to 232 degrees, stirring occasionally. Immediately remove from heat and pour in vanilla and food coloring.
- Drizzle mixture over popped popcorn. Gently stir popcorn until mixture is evenly coated and coating begins to dry (you'll notice the popcorn kernels separating).
- Pour mixture onto waxed paper and allow to dry about 30 minutes.
- If not dry or hard enough, pop in the oven at 250 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir it around, and popcorn should harden and dry once cool.
- Store in an airtight container.