Chef Tess did a fun craft night in Chandler, AZ with Popcorn Topiaries and our SLC Store manager, Lisa Barker did a similar class this week in Salt Lake.  They totally opened my eyes and imagination to what you can do with popcorn, both in flavor combinations and crafts!

Bonus for everyone we’ve got a video segment from Phoenix Fox 10 of Chef Tess demonstrating the popcorn topiaries and recipe:

So fun right?!?!  Here’s the recipe for basic popcorn balls:

1/2 cup Honeyville Popcorn (unpopped measurement) or 9 cups popped corn
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1 cup Honey
1/2 cup Honeyville Fruit Gelatin (any flavor) or Jello (1.3 oz box, any flavor)
1/2 tsp Real Salt

Pop popcorn (use an air popper or the nifty Microwave Popcorn Popper or do it stove top.  Stove Top Directions: Over high heat, pour enough oil into the sauce pot to cover the bottom of the pan and be about 1/4 inch deep.  Place three kernels into the pan and then cover.  Once the three kernels have popped, add the remaining kernels.  Listen closely to the pan.  Once you hear the popping slow substantially, the popcorn is done.  Remove from the burner and pour the popped corn into large bowl.)  Transfer popped corn to a large bowl.  Season the popcorn with Real Salt.

In a heavy saucepan, combine Granulated Sugar, Honey, and Gelatin.  Stir slightly and bring to a full rolling boil over medium high heat.  Remove gelatin mixture from stove top and pour over the popcorn.  Toss well, until all of the popcorn is coated.  Allow to cool a few minutes before shaping into popcorn balls.

Shape popcorn into balls using lightly oiled hands, or leave fruity popcorn as is.  To make a topiary, pierce popcorn ball with a bamboo skewer and tie a ribbon at the base of the ball.  You may insert them into other popcorn balls or brownie-cupcakes for a stand alone topiary or just enjoy a popcorn ball on a stick!

Now let’s talk flavor combinations!  You’ve seen the fun Mix-A-Meal flavored powders in our retail stores so let’s put them to use.  (After you take your Gelatin mixture off the stove just stir in about 1 Tablespoon of powder to the mixture and continue following the recipe).

Cherry Cordial
Use Cherry Flavored Gelatin and then add some Vanilla and Chocolate Powder.

I’m not usually a fruit and chocolate fan but this was really good.  Good balance of flavors.

Peanut Butter and Jelly
Use your Strawberry or Raspberry Gelatin and add 1/4 cup of Honeyville Powdered Peanut Butter.  This picture shows a heavy coating because we used about 7 cups of popped corn instead of 9 cups.

Again really good!

Coconut Lime
Lime flavored Gelatin some Pineapple and Coconut powdered flavorings.

“Put the lime in the coconut…” Feel free to dance as you toss 🙂

Some other ideas:

  • Got leftover Halloween candy?  Coarsely chop them up and toss them in!  (I’m thinking some Peanut Butter cups would be super yummy in the PB&J one). 
  • Experiment with flavored honeys too!
  • Add Honeyville Freeze Dried Fruit–they’ll add nutrition and flavor!
  • If you don’t want to make popcorn balls try just popping the popcorn and drizzle with some melted butter and add your favorite spice.  For a savory snack, sprinkle on the Wayzata Bay Spice Co. line “Whatever” blend.  Yum!

Lisa made an AMAZING White Chocolate Rootbeer Popcorn.  Divine!  Delicious!  Superb!  I can’t say enough good things about it. 

1/2 cup of Honeyville Popcorn which equals about 9 cups of popped popcorn
1 cup of melting White Chocolate
8 drops of Rootbeer Oil (NOT rootbeer extract)

Pop your popcorn.  Transfer popcorn to a large bowl.  Melt your chocolate.  (Lisa prefers using the microwave and stirring after 20 second intervals until melted and smooth).  Stir in about 8 drops of Rootbeer oil to the melted chocolate.  Pour chocolate over the popped corn.  Toss to thoroughly coat.  Let sit 30 minutes before eating or putting into gift bags. 

Lisa made this for neighbor gifts last year.  It was such a hit that some even came back and asked for more!  When you open the treat bags it smells just like a rootbeer float.  This one was my favorite that we sampled at the class.  I took a little extra to save and have my husband try it.  Well I had the intention of having him try it but I ate it before I got to the car.  Oops!  Lisa mentioned that it is important to use air popped popcorn, not the stuff you can buy in bags, use melting chocolate not just white chocolate chips, and you need to use Rootbeer OIL, not rootbeer extract.  If you don’t use flavored oils with the chocolate it can make the chocolate mixture too hard and it’ll crack and break.

This was a really fun class (and yummy too!).  It would be a really fun family activity.  Become “mad scientists” and see what flavor combinations you can come up with.  Give movie night some added pizazz with some rockin’ popcorn.

Good news our Gelatins are on clearance right now so stop in one of our retail stores or order online and start having FUN!!