This is basically going to be a fangirl post followed by a recipe. You’ve been warned. If you don’t like carbs or cookbooks…well, then I’m not sure why you’re here but maybe I can convert you because these cookies are FUN!
But first, the cookbook! I’ve been a fan of smitten kitchen for a long time. It’s easily my favorite food blog and Deb’s recipes never fail. Her Buttermilk Roast Chicken and Mom’s Apple Cake are comfort food staples at my house. When I heard she had a cookbook coming out I was thrilled and I have no idea what took me so long to get my hands on it. As it turns out I ended up receiving two copies of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook for Christmas and it has been everything I hoped it would be. Great photography, delicious recipes, adorable anecdotes…absolutely classic. I foresee myself cooking from this book for years to come.
This popcorn cookie recipe was very intriguing to me. I had never even considered putting popcorn in cookies before and honestly only made this recipe because I thought my kids would like and it seemed über simple. As it turns out, not only was it über simple but it was addictive; a fabulous combination of salty and sweet. The flavor is similar to caramel corn but without the cloying sweetness that can sometimes have. Add to that the chewiness of cookie mixed with the crunch of popcorn and it’s just perfection.
Make this happen for yourself. You will not regret it.
Smitten Kitchen Buttered Popcorn Cookies
2 Tbs oil
1/4 cup popcorn kernels
1/4 tsp table salt
1 Tbs butter – melted
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter – softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
Make the popcorn: Pour the oil in the bottom of a large saucepan (with lid) and add the popcorn kernels. Shake the pan around so the kernels land in a single layer over the bottom of the pan. Cover the pot, heat over medium-high heat and once the kernels start popping keep the pan moving until all the kernels have popped. Toss the table salt and melted butter over the popcorn. You may want to transfer the popcorn to another bowl so you can fish out any unpopped kernels. You should have about 4 to 4 1/2 cups of popcorn.
Mix the dough: Preheat your oven to 350. In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda. Stir the combined dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture. Fold in the popcorn so it’s evenly distributed throughout the batter. This will seem impossible at first because the batter to popcorn ratio is crazy but I promise, it works. Just keep at it for a minute or two and don’t worry about some of the popcorn breaking up. It all turns out great in the end.
Bake the cookies: Scoop heaping tablespoon sized mounds 2 inches apart onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are light brown. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for a few minutes to firm up before transferring them to a cooling rack.