Hello from Las Vegas! I have been travelling around the Southwest for the past week, having a great time. I thought I would have more time to keep up with posting yummy recipes, but not so much in between driving, visiting National Parks and taking part in my sister’s wedding festivities. Funny how that works…
So far we have been to 4 states and 3 National Parks. The highlight for me so far has been Grand Canyon. I heard it would be spectacular, and I was worried that my expectations would be too high. Nope, it really IS that Grand. We definitely hope to return in a few years to do some hiking. We’ll be staying in luxury in Vegas for 3 more nights before visiting more National Parks in Utah.
And on to the food. If you grew up in Canada, especially if you are older than say…30 years old, you likely remember Lucky Elephant Pink Popcorn. If you haven’t tried it, and you like sweet popcorn, you should definitely try this. It’s a lightly candy coated, slightly vanilla flavored popcorn with a festive pink color. I suppose you could make it any color you want, or skip the color all together, but pink is definitely the traditional.
When I first learned that you could make this tasty treat from my childhood, I was a little intimidated, thinking it would be much more difficult than it actually is. Turns out it’s not very hard at all. There is a bit of a trick to it though. Make sure you have your popcorn completely popped and ready in a large bowl before your syrup is ready. You don’t want it hardening up on you while you’re waiting for popcorn.
I did try this recipe a couple of times to get an optimal candy-popcorn ratio. The recipe I have posted here is most similar to the Lucky Elephant popcorn I remember eating as a child. However, if you want yours less sweet, use more popcorn. If you have a major sweet tooth and you want sweeter popcorn, use less popcorn, just note that it will take longer to dry or harden.
The first time I made this, it had a much thicker candy coating and it took much longer (overnight) to dry. The recipe I have posted here dried very quickly, almost immediately. However, it may depend on humidity. If yours doesn’t seem to be setting up, don’t worry too much, just leave it uncovered at room temperature for a few hours or a day or so until it does. Warning: if you leave it sitting out, uncovered, it will likely disappear quickly. You and your family will not be able to resist this sweet crunchy treat. You can however, store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a couple of weeks.
Because of the pretty pink color of this popcorn, I think it’s perfect for Valentine’s day. If your kids (or you, at work) hand out goodies for Valentine’s day, I think this is a great slightly healthier treat. For one cup of this popcorn, you’re looking at around 100kcal, which is the perfect amount for a small snack, and 1g of fiber. You could package it in a little baggie tied with a red or pink ribbon. How cute is that?
- 6 oz popcorn kernels
- 2/3 cup whole milk or half and half
- 1 Tbsp white corn syrup
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- in red or pink food coloring I used Wilton Gel Color Rose
Pop popcorn using an air popper or in a pot. This makes a large amount (about 24 cups) of popcorn, so you may have to do it in 2 batches. Place into one or two large bowls and set aside.
Stir milk, corn syrup and salt together in a small saucepan. Pour sugar into the center of the saucepan, being careful not to get any on the sides of the pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved.
Stir occasionally until mixture reaches 230°F, the soft ball stage. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and food coloring (several drops of red should do, or about 1/2 a toothpick dipped into gel color).
Working quickly, pour sugar mixture evenly over popcorn and stir until the popcorn is evenly coated. Spread popcorn over 2 large baking sheets to dry. Once popcorn is completely dry, store in airtight bags or containers.
*Recipe barely adapted from Nan’s Recipe Spot