Looking for a fun snack on a cold winter’s day? Need something to munch on during your next movie night?
Popcorn is a good option. Filled with fiber, but with little fat unless you add it, air-popped popcorn has only 30 calories per cup. Oil-popped has about 35 calories per cup. Did you know that the number one use for our microwave oven is to make popcorn?
Americans consume 14 billion quarts of popcorn each year, according to the Popcorn Board. The peak period for popcorn sales is in the fall. But National Popcorn Day is Jan. 19. So celebrate with a bowl of popcorn. Or, if you want to try something different with your next bowl of popcorn, here are a few recipes from the Popcorn Board. There are plenty more on their website, popcorn.org, along with fun facts and activities for all ages.
Chocolate Popcorn Biscotti
1 cup egg substitute
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup + 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
3 cups air-popped popcorn, ground in food processor or blender
2 1/4-2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 teaspoons baking powder
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
Combine egg substitute, vanilla, and 1 cup sugar in large bowl; mix well. Add popcorn, flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder and mix well; dough will be stiff but continue mixing until all ingredients are well combined.
Sprinkle remaining sugar on work surface; divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll dough into 8 inch by 4 inch by 1/2 inch logs and roll in sugar lightly on all sides.Transfer logs to baking sheet, leaving a space between them.
Bake 25-30 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow “logs” to cool for 5 minutes. Cut logs diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. Arrange in a single layer on baking sheet.
Bake 10 minutes; turn cookies over and bake 5-10 minutes longer until lightly browned and crisp on both sides.
Cool cookies and store in airtight container.
Edible Popcorn Party Bowl
10 cups popped popcorn
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup water
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 drops food color, optional
Spray the inside of a large, stainless steel bowl with cooking spray and the outside of a second large, stainless steel bowl; set aside.
These two bowls will be used to form popcorn bowl at end of cooking time. (Note: if one bowl is smaller than the other, spray the outside of the smaller bowl.)
Spray a third large bowl with cooking spray and place popped popcorn inside; set aside.
Stir sugar, water, corn syrup, vinegar and salt together in a medium saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, cover, and boil for 3 minutes to allow steam to wash down sides of pan. Remove lid and attach candy thermometer to pan.
Allow mixture to boil, without stirring, until mixture reaches 290 degrees F. Stir in food color, if desired. Working quickly, pour syrup over popcorn and toss with a large spoon until popcorn is thoroughly coated.
Pour popcorn mixture into first prepared bowl and use a spoon to push mixture evenly up onto sides of bowl. Firmly press second prepared bowl onto popcorn to form popcorn bowl. Allow popcorn bowl to cool completely between stainless steel bowls.
To serve, tip popcorn bowl out and place on platter.
Fill with popcorn to serve.
Cinnamon Popcorn Crunch
3 quarts popped popcorn, unsalted
1 can (6 1/2 ounce) salted mixed nuts
1 pound light brown sugar
1 cup light corn or maple syrup
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
Mix popcorn and nuts in large buttered bowl.
Combine sugar, syrup, butter or margarine, water, salt and cinnamon in saucepan. Heat slowly to the boiling point, stirring until sugar melts. Cook to hard crack stage (290-295 degrees F). Pour syrup in a fine stream over popcorn and nuts. Stir until popcorn and nuts are evenly coated with syrup.
Spread out on large buttered surface or waxed paper. Separate into bite-size portions with forks. Cool.