Hawaiian Popcorn Favours

I love simple little ways to put a smile on someones face. Often it’s a pretty easy to do so when you present an edible treat; who can turn down something delicious and tasty? Not this girl. And not many people I know turn down sweets unless it’s a cupcake given to my parents (they are cupcaked OUT). Since I’ve been dying to make this Hawaiian Popcorn Crunch, I thought I could give it a whirl then package it up in a cute little box to give to a coworker.
Fun gift idea!

If you’re on a time crunch you could buy your popcorn from a retailer like Kernels but making this popcorn crunch yourself is more rewarding, tasty and from the heart. It’s super easy and the recipe I used from Sticky Messy Chewy Gooey is wonderfully easy and delicious. Bellies everywhere will rejoice! What a perfect favour idea, bridal shower treat and simple way to make someones lunch time a little more special.
Box top

If you love caramel corn you’ll be hooked on this…the recipe also calls for dried pineapple chunks, roasted macadamia nuts, coconut and dried banana chips. And sugar. And butter. And did I mention the sugar? You will feel like a kid at a carnival when you taste this stuff.

Hawaiian Popcorn Crunch
from the Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey cook book
for the popcorn
1/2 cup dried banana chips
1 cup whole roasted macadamia nuts
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1/2 diced candied pineapple
16 – 18 cups of popped popcorn
for the caramel coating
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 light or dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F and spray two baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray (I lined my sheets with parchment paper). Combine all the popcorn ingredients into a big bowl and toss to mix. After that is combined, combine the butter, sugars, corn syrup, lemon juice and salt over medium heat in a saucepan. Stir occasionally until everything is smooth and the butter is melted. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil gently until the mixture reaches the hard crack stage (300F on a candy thermometer), 6 – 9 minutes. (I just timed it out since I don’t have a candy thermometer!
Remove from heat and stir in the extracts and baking soda (this mixture tastes like pure candy bliss!) Immediately pour over the popcorn mixture and stir with a large spoon making sure to coat everything as evenly as possible.
Divine popcorn among the two baking sheets and bake until the popcorn is crisp and fragrant, stirring occasionally for about 1 hour. Let cool completely before enjoying. And store in a contained sealed tightly for about one week. Like it will last that long :)
When you are ready to share with someone, you can grab a brown paper Chinese take out box, some pretty ribbon and your favourite stamp and voila! Instead cuteness. Just make sure to line your box with paper or a napkin because the popcorn can be pretty greasy and will leave stains on the paper boxes. Happy Monday everyone!

Perfect bow

S’mores Brownies

Graham Crackers
I adore s’mores. Not marshmallows, or graham crackers but s’mores. The combination of gooey, warm marshmallows with a crispy golden outer shell, melted chocolate and buttery graham crackers is pure bliss. Sitting by a campfire (or over your stove top like I used to in university) watching your marshmallow toast to the perfect color, the anticipation of the sweetness you’re about to enjoy – well it’s all too much for the dessert-lover in me. This past weekend, I needed some s’mores in my life. And since I don’t plan on sitting around any campfires soon, I had to get crafty.
Ontario adapted a new holiday a few years ago called Family Day. It’s supposed to encourage families to get together and spend quality time doing extracurricular activities. My family, aunts, uncles, Grandpa and cousins got together for dinner to make use of our free day off. To celebrate the Olympics we all wore Canada colors. To satisfy my sweet tooth and everyone elses, I baked up some s’mores brownies. What could be more perfect?
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I used about a cup and a quarter of chocolate chips (they melt faster than Hershey chocolate squares). I used close to two cups of mini marshmallows, or enough to cover the top of the brownies. I used almost a whole sleeve of graham crackers crumbled into pieces. For the brownies I used just a basic boxed version. After the brownies finished baking and cooling, I dumped all the combined toppings over top. You can then add more of each topping to your liking. I added some more marshies to fill in the ‘holes.’ Keep in mind the marshmallows will poof up and out slightly. If you use big sized marshmallows you may want to cut them in half. The chocolate chips will melt a tad too. And your heart? Your heart will thank you for making these.

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And then you will bake the toppings at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until the marshmallows start to turn golden and slightly crispy to the touch. Or until when you cut into the brownies, they turn out like this….

So Tasty
Honestly, go make these now. They were extremely tasty. And I was even thinking that a graham cracker crust would have been a perfect compliment to the gooey brownies so if you’re feeling adventurous give that a try. Oh and thrown in some chocolate chips into your brownie batter. It’ll make this dessert that much better. And then if you want to get really crafty you can break out the scrap book paper, ribbon, scissors and tape. Add in a few stickers and brown paper bags and you can create the cutest little bags to put your delicious treats into.
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