Blogs are a weirdly creepy, yet crazy awesome thing. I love that I can read about real people and the real things they’re doing. I love that these people write about the time they accidentally ate a sleeve of thin mints, or fell off a bike, or made the best apple pie ever. Every day, my inbox gets filled with all sorts of updates from Joy, Tracy, David, and Heidi. I feel like we’re friends. I know what’s on their kitchen counter, and where they got to visit last weekend. They’ve taught me how to cook, and how to experiment with food, and what restaurants to hit if I’m ever in their city. We go way back. But the one who has made the biggest impact on my cooking/food dreams is Deb. From the pea pesto that changed my whole look on frozen vegetables to the chocolate peanut butter cake I made for a friend that goes down in decadence history, I owe her a great deal of gratitude. And when she came to Portland, I got to thank her. And I don’t think she thought I was creepy at all.
Her book is what can happen when your dream becomes your career. Wowzers.
I haven’t had a chance to really dive into her book, but her popcorn cookies caught my eye. Popcorn in cookie form? Sounds crazy enough to try. I even got to pop the kernels on the stove. No microwave needed.
I used coconut oil after my first batch had a funky flavor from the vegetable oil that had been sitting in the back of the cabinet for I don’t know how long. I was a little nervous using it, but it worked really well, and gave the popcorn a really nice flavor without a coconut taste.
After cooking for years now, I have just a speck more confidence to try something different, and feel that there’s a good shot it will turn out the way I want it. I’ve also learned to trust. Trust that these popcorn things will turn to cookies. I don’t need to double and triple check.
Thank you, Smitten Kitchen!
Adapted slightly from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
makes about 20 cookies
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
1/3 cup popcorn kernels
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
To make the popcorn: Heat coconut oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan with a lid until the oil melts. Add the kernels, and cover, shaking the pan to make sure all the kernels are in contact with the bottom of the pan. As soon as you hear the first few kernels pop, shimmy the pan until all of the kernels pop (5 minutes or so). Remove from heat, add melted butter and salt, and transfer to bowl, keeping an eye for any unpopped kernels.
Dough: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugars, egg and vanilla until smooth. Meanwhile, whisk flour and baking soda together. Stir flour mixture into butter-sugar mixture, until combined. Fold in popcorn, making sure to get dough well distributed. It’s okay if the popcorn breaks as you’re mixing, and don’t worry about the lack of dough. It all works out in the end.
Bake: Roll dough into mounds the size of a golf ball or slightly bigger. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, making sure to leave a 2 inch gap between cookies. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Let cool for a minute or so on the baking sheet before transferring to a rack to finish cooling.