Thursday, September 15, 2011

Candied Rainbow Popcorn

Yesterday was Wednesday...this meant farmers' market in the evening.  I must admit I was a little slow at getting started this week with only 1 double batch of chunky monkey cookies under my belt the night before.  For a change of pace my husband offered to drop off our daughter at school this a.m. which opened up some extra time to work through preparations...until my four year old said he wanted to "bake popcorn".

What a great idea!  I convinced him we could make rainbow popcorn, out came the gel colours (with a hint of halloween flare) yellow, green, orange and purple. Four cups of granulated sugar and half a pound of popcorn later we found ourselves with several trays of sticky coloured corn...not the ideal end result.  "It's sticky's still sticky mommy...MOMMY! It's sticky!"  {I got it, I read the memo... it's not right - he doesn't know that though}.  How on earth was I going to right this wrong?  We BAKE it.  It was a long shot, but it worked! {YEAH ME! Note to self: pat back later}   325 degrees F on convect for 5 minutes and I was golden :)

Ten full bags of popcorn later, we were well on our way to having our table at the market filled.
You can make rainbow corn too. It's super easy and reminds me of my childhood while enjoying a box of Lucky Elephant Pink Popcorn.  The colours can be tweaked to coordinate with any holiday or celebration, and a little can go a long way!

Rainbow Popcorn

Depending on how many colours of sugar syrup you want to incorporate into your rainbow popcorn, you will need several heat proof bowls to divide and mix your syrup in.  A Very large mixing bowl to toss your corn and sugar syrup in, tin foil lined cookie sheets (sprayed with non-stick spray) and a spatula for tossing the mixture together.

NOTE: We made 2 batches of syrup and divided them in half to yield 4 colours of syrup.

FIRST, pop your popcorn according to your air poppers' manufacturers directions.  Pop approximately 1/2 to 1 pound of popcorn.  Set aside.

To make a single batch of syrup...

  1. In a sauce pan, combine 2 cups of granulated sugar with 1/2 cup of water, 1 tbsp of butter and 1/4 tsp salt.
  2. Bring the solution to a boil and continue to cook on med-high heat for 3 minutes, stirring occassionaly (avoid boiling over). The mixture should bubble vigorously.
  3. Divide the solution (depends on # of colours you want out of a single batch), pouring a portion into a heat proof bowl for each selected colour.
  4. Mix in the color, be generous with your dye for more vibrant colored corn { and be careful! it's VERY HOT!} & pour over a portion of popcorn. 
  5. Toss to coat and turn out onto a lined, sprayed cookie sheet.
  6. Let set 1/2 hour to 1 hour 
  7. REPEAT for your remaining selected colours.
  8. If it doesn't seem to be drying and stays sticky, bake at 325 degrees F (I used my convection option on my oven) for 5 minutes, let cool. Break apart any lumps and toss with the other coloured popcorn & Enjoy! 

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