We've certainly explored the outer limits of how popcorn variations, but I think it's possible to go one step further. What if popcorn is not just mixed, but integrated with another snack of limitless potential: cookies!!
Yes, we're going to create perfect stovetop kettlecorn, and then cover it with some dangerously delicious cookie dough, and finally bake it to create Popcorn Cookie Poppers!
Step 1: Make the dough
Begin by browning the butter. Cooking the butter until it turns brown will give the dough a richer, toffee-like flavor - it's a key difference when it comes to making perfect cookie dough.
Combine the flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl.
Measure out 10 tbsp of the allotted 16 tbsp of butter. Put the 10 tbsp into a saucepan and set on medium-high. Stir occasionally. Keep a close eye on it - the butter can quickly turn from brown to burnt.When the butter finishes browning, turn off the heat and mix in the last 6 tbsp.
Mix the sugars together in a smaller bowl. When the butter has finished browning, pour it over the sugars and mix it together. Give it a minute to cool off, and then mix in the egg, egg yolk, and the vanilla and combine thoroughly. Excluding an egg white will give the dough a chewier texture (another key tip). For crunchier cookies, include the egg white.
Place the sugar-butter-egg mixture into the fridge for 5-10 minutes - the browned butter is very hot and needs time to cool. Allowing the mixture to rest also allows the sugars to have more time to dissolve, which results in a better flavor and nice crispy edges.
Take the mixture out of the fridge and vigorously stir it for 30 seconds, then let it sit at room temperature for three minutes. Repeat one more time
Add the whole mixture to the medium bowl with the flour and mix thoroughly. Fold in your chocolate chips, shredded coconut, or whatever else you want to add some pizzazz.
- The ratio of white sugar to brown sugar changes the cookie's texture. More white sugar = crunchier cookie, and more brown sugar = chewier cookie. Substitute the sugars at a 1:1 ratio to suit your taste.
- Spend your downtime preparing and cooking the popcorn.
- The Cook's Illustrated recipe calls for only 14 tbsp of butter. I added the 2 extra tbsp because some of my ingredients were very dry.
- Bulky additives (walnuts, whole almonds, chocolate chunks) are difficult to integrate into the poppers, so stick with small ingredients.