TGIF! Not that it really makes a difference since my schedule post-exam is pretty much data collection and wedding planning, with the latter ramping up on weekends when Lucas has more spare time. It's just the thought that "PHEW, I made it through another week!" Let's curl up by the fire, pop in a good movie, and munch on popcorn. Add candy to that equation and you've got nearly every Friday night of my high school career. Only back then, my BFF and I would take a ready-made microwaveable bag out of the gigantic Costco-sized box and add a few more tablespoons of melted butter and a heaping spoonful of salt. The more butter-soaked the better. The days of not feeling completely glutinous about eating butter with a side of popcorn are long gone. Tonight's version comes entirely homemade with quite a bit less butter.
I made this same popcorn snack for Hee-Jeong's qualifying exam last week (everyone in my cohort is almost done with quals!). One of her committee members has a gluten-free diet, which is tough for me because it turns out I'm a sucker for anything with flour (+butter). In a time of need, I called my GF pal Jenny - the same friend who over-salted our popcorn in high school. Looking for the ultimate finger food snack, I went with a revamped version of our classic midnight grub. The platter with only a few remaining kernels at the end of the 3-hour exam indicated it was a hit.
If you don't already know that you can make popcorn in a brown paper bag in the microwave, you're totally missing out. You don't need a bulky popcorn maker or a big pot with a bunch of oil. All you need is a small brown paper bag, a handful of kernels, and a microwave. And butter. Popcorn without butter is like peanut butter without jelly, peas without carrots, sushi without rice. Incomplete. This cinnamon toast popcorn one-ups buttered popcorn, adding a sweet twist to a salty favorite in 30 seconds. Now if only I had a fireplace to snuggle up in front of.
Cinnamon toast popcorn
- 1 small brown paper bag
- ½ cup popcorn kernels
- 2½ tablespoons butter
- 1½ tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- Put the popcorn kernels in the brown paper bag and roll the top over 3-4 times. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes (my microwave is dinky and is much less powerful than my parents', so I'd start with 1 minute if you're unsure).
- Scoop the popped popcorn out of the bag into a large bowl, leaving the un-popped kernels. Microwave for another minute, or until the pops slow down. Add to the bowl of popped popcorn.
- Melt the butter.
- Mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
- Slowly pour the butter over the popcorn, tossing with your hands about halfway through.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the popcorn and toss well to coat. Dig in.