Sunday, April 24, 2016

Butter Popcorn Bars

I am not a dessert person. Wait. I am not a bake-a-dessert person. I'm more of a enjoyer-of-desserts girl. These buttered popcorn bars, however, are my go-to dessert now. I always have the ingredients in the house, and, in less than an hour, I can have finished dessert. Voila! 

I made these bars for a family dinner and we decided to class it up. Ice cream, shaved chocolate, and sea salt take this dessert over the top! Feel free to experiment on your own.

You can make your popcorn any way you want: microwave or stovetop. The more buttery, the better. I use 1/2c popcorn kernels and 1/4c vegetable oil in a Whirly Pop (Whirly Pop makes air-popped popcorn in 3 minutes flat!).

Buttered Popcorn Bars
from Smitten Kitchen's cookbook


4 cups popcorn, popped
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 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

1. Pop up a batch of popcorn using your favorite method. 
2. Preheat your oven to 375ยบ F. 
3. In a large bowl cream together the softened butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. 
4. In another bowl, whisk the flour and baking soda together. 
5. Stir the combined dry ingredients into the butter sugar mixture. 
6. Fold in the cooled popcorn so that it is evenly distributed through the batter. 
7. Grease a 9x9" baking pan.
8. Press the batter into the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.
9. Allow to cool and cut into bars.
10. Serving options: plain or fancy (with ice cream, popcorn, chocolate shavings, and a pinch of sea salt).

This recipe can also be doubled and placed in a 9"x13" pan. You can use 6 cups of popped popcorn (1/3c kernels in your Whirly Pop). The result is more popcorn-y, but delicious nevertheless!

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