Moose Munch

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Moose Munch Yum
OK, it's not wild game. Pretty hard to work game into desserts. And it does have "Moose" in the name. You could use it to say "OK kids, eat all your venison and daddy will make moose munch."

If popping your own from kernels, keep in mind that freshness matters -- Not because they go bad, but because they lose some of the moisture they need to pop properly. If it's been on the shelf a year or so just buy a new batch.
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings
quarts
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup Popcorn kernels — 1/2 cup makes about a gallon, which takes a pretty big pan. You could also do microwave bags (about 1qt per bag), or even pre-popped from the store.
  • 3 Tbsp clarified butter — or vegetable oil, but the clarified butter is GREAT. Just don't try whole butter which will burn..
  • 2 big 3-finger pinches kosher salt — I add it to the oil, but adding salt after popping may produce a more tender result. In that case use popcorn salt instead of kosher, because it's super-fine thus distributes and sticks better.
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup Brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup roasted salted nuts — I favor spanish peanuts with some of the skins still on. Pecan or cashew pieces would be good.
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • as needed heavy cream — optional, to help loosen the chocolate up to make it drizzle easier
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings
quarts
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup Popcorn kernels — 1/2 cup makes about a gallon, which takes a pretty big pan. You could also do microwave bags (about 1qt per bag), or even pre-popped from the store.
  • 3 Tbsp clarified butter — or vegetable oil, but the clarified butter is GREAT. Just don't try whole butter which will burn..
  • 2 big 3-finger pinches kosher salt — I add it to the oil, but adding salt after popping may produce a more tender result. In that case use popcorn salt instead of kosher, because it's super-fine thus distributes and sticks better.
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup Brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup roasted salted nuts — I favor spanish peanuts with some of the skins still on. Pecan or cashew pieces would be good.
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • as needed heavy cream — optional, to help loosen the chocolate up to make it drizzle easier
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
  2. Unless substituting some other popcorn source, add clarified butter, salt and 3 popcorn kernels to a large covered pan over medium/high heat. Watch/listen carefully.
  3. Once the third kernel pops remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining kernels. Give a brief mix, return the lid, and count 30 seconds.
  4. Return pan to the heat. Once you hear the first kernel pop, prop the lid slightly open - enough to let the steam out but not enough that popcorn escapes.
  5. Once it slows to about a pop every 1 or 2 seconds, remove from heat and transfer to a very large bowl. Doing it by hand helps leave the "old maids" behind.
  6. Heat brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter together in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the caramel boils, then stop stirring and let boil 2 more minutes — no longer.
  7. Stir in baking soda and remove from heat. IT WILL INCREASE IN VOLUME after mixing in the soda — so if you cut it close on the pan size do this where it won't make a mess or risk burns. It is HOT and STICKY. Think this whole step through ahead of time.
  8. Mix popcorn, nuts and caramel mixture together in the large bowl.
  9. Spread the mix in a large pan over over parchment paper or a silicone mat. A high-walled roasting pan makes it easiest to mix without making a mess. Unless it's a very small batch a short-walled pan can be a hassle.
  10. Put in the 250°F oven for 45 minutes, taking out and mixing every 15 minutes.
  11. While the popcorn mix is cooking, melt chips in a double-boiler or in a microwave at 30-second intervals and stir until completely melted. After the popcorn mix comes out of the oven use a fork to drizzle the chocolate over it. Mixing a little heavy cream into the melted chocolate towards the end of heating makes it drizzle a little better - but you don't want it too thin.
  12. Mix the munch one more time and let set. Then get out of the way. Stores great in ziplock bags.
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