So this is officially Cured By Bacon’s first guest post and its first Cookbook Diary entry. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!
Have you ever met anyone that cried because a plate of food was just that good? If not, now you have (once while eating my aunt’s apple pie and again after biting into a juicy steak at Melrose). I’m nowhere near Nic’s level of food expertise, but I think food has a way of hugging my heart tighter than some. I’m Katie, Nic’s lady friend behind several photos you see here and an official taste tester of his delicious delicacies. Lucky girl, right?!
I met Nic over two years ago at work while I was suffocating as a paralegal. He was my once in a while friendly break from a monotonous day, or a partner for a quick lunchtime food adventure. I escaped that job last spring and soon after asked Nic out (on a rare hot, sunny, international beer-festy Seattle evening). I wasn’t willing to let this fish swim out of my life so easy!
Enough of the gooey gushy sweet stuff- you people are here for the food! On to other gooey sweet things.
Sometimes I bake. I usually lean on the healthy side of baking. Future recipes you see here will probably contain honey, overripe fruits, and wheat flour. But this particular baking adventure was for the Super Bowl, so none of that please. Nic and I both have a liking for salty sweet bites (candied bacon, anyone?) and I wanted to try something a little unique. Or maybe I just wanted to redeem myself after a “nailed it” failure moment and try a new recipe out of our Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Either way, these happened and we were quite pleased. Plus, who doesn’t like popcorn and cookies?
Let me take a moment to explain. I know what you are thinking. Popcorn? Cookies? Together? No. But YES. There is something about the fluffy crunchy buttery popcorn mixing with the sweet chewy cookie that will make your taste buds wonder why you haven’t stretched your culinary imagination like this before. Let’s step out of our Nestlé comfort box (the cookie part actually kind of resembles that classic) and try something new.
I present to you, Smitten Kitchen’s buttered popcorn cookies.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
To make the popcorn:
- Pour the oil over the bottom of a large saucepan that has a lid, and add the popcorn kernels. Move them around in the pan so they are in one layer.
- Cover the pot, heat it over medium high heat. Once the kernels begin to pop, keep the pan moving until all of the kernels have popped. About 5 to 7 minutes.
- Toss the popcorn with the salt and melted butter, then transfer to a bowl. Make sure to pick out the unpopped kernels. You should have about 4 to 4 and 1/2 cups of popcorn.
You can follow the popping instructions above, or you can do what I did and use an air popper. I love my $3 garage sale purchased (and non existent clean up) trusty popcorn popper!
To make the dough:
- Preheat your oven to 350 F.
- In a large bowl cream together the softened butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.
- In another bowl, whisk the flour and baking soda together.
- Stir the combined dry ingredients into the butter sugar mixture. (Side note here: I got fed up with how long the dough stayed crumbly as I stirred with my wooden spoon, so I used my hands to “knead” it until the ingredients were all combined and the mixture had a nice doughy consistency. Plus, I like getting dirty with my baked goods).
- Fold in the cooled popcorn so that it is evenly distributed through the batter. The popcorn will break up a bit here. Just go with it.
- Scoop a large tablespoon size mound onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches space in between cookies. The cookbook suggests baking for about 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges are light brown, but my oven liked about 9 to 10 minutes. At 10 minutes, my first batch of cookies were a little darker than I prefer. Let them sit on the pan for a few minutes to firm up before transferring them to a rack to cool.
Enjoy the salty sweet chewy goodness!