12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies, Week #6 Popcorn Christmas Tree
We are definitely inching slowly but steadily to Christmas. It’s just a month away! Boy, am i giddy with excitement! To celebrate our crossing into November, and for week #6 of 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies,
i present these popcorn Christmas trees.
After all that chiffon cake episode, i wanted a break from anything sensitive and collapsible. No bread, or cakes or pies, or even pastries for all that matter. I wanted something fool-proof, quick and easy, and i guess pop corn is it.
And i must say, there is something deeply satisfying hearing all that corn kernels pop. I am really digging it. It’s like listening to raindrops tapping against the window.
And i am really amazed at how science works. How corn kernels transform into something so different, how something so hard and inedible can turn into something so light and crunchy.
And how they can be further manipulated to form something so festive. :)
Okay, that’s not really a lot to be amazed about. Maybe i am just in a weird mood.
Truth is, i wanted to make mini versions of these Christmas trees. But time wasn’t really on my side ( I made them in the morning before rushing off to work). And the truth is, i wanted to make some pretty yellow star shaped icing, but again, due to time constraint, i didnt really have much time to locate my nozzle, or fit my yellow frosting into my pipping bag.
And of course u can go crazy creative with these, I am thinking M&M’s, chocolate chips, pretzel sticks, nuts into the popcorn! Whatever that rocks your boat.
Sadly, i didn’t have all these on hands, but at least i had sprinkles! So that will have to do..
So these Popcorn Christmas trees aren’t the most perfect things, and i shouldn’t really gotten ahead of myself,
But i am pretty satisfied with how they turned out.
So let’s get poppin’ !
- 1 (3.5-ounce) package plain microwave popcorn (or 3.5 ounces of popping corn)
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup lightly salted peanuts, roughly chopped
1. Heat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside,
2. Pop the popcorn according to the package instructions. Coat a large mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray, and transfer the popcorn from the bag to the bowl. Set aside.
3. In a small saucepan, whisk the sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt and 2 tablespoons of water, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Continue to simmer, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 250 degrees F on a candy thermometer, 3 to 4 minutes.
4. Turn off the heat, and whisk in the vanilla and baking soda. Immediately pour the hot mixture over the popcorn. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the caramel into the popcorn until all of the popcorn is coated.
5. Gently stir in the peanuts, and transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet.
6. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Gently break up the popcorn. Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
*Note: I used a gingerbread cookie as the base.
To make the popcorns green, i substituted the white sugar for the brown sugar in the recipe, and stirred in green colouring after the baking soda went in.
I then shaped the popcorns into its conical shape (BE careful, they are really HOTT!) and placed them on a baked gingerbread cookie.The semi molten sugar will adhere itself to the base.
I sprinkled the trees with sprinkles first before popping them into the oven to dry out. If you sprinkle after the oven time, the sprinkles wont stick as the sugar has already dried.
Once again, i thank the host abbeysweets for letting me participate on such a fun event!
A baking addict who loves to give away all her baked products to willing (or unwilling) recipients to make room for more baking. i would love to hear from you! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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