Recipe: Popcorn bark
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
- 1/2 cup popping corn
- 1 1/4 cups dry unsweetened coconut
- 2 cups mini marshmallows
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- scant 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 First, cook the popping corn in batches. Heat half the oil in a deep pan over a medium heat. Add half the popcorn kernels, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and cook until the kernels start popping. Turn off the heat but leave the pan on the burner and shake occasionally until the kernels stop popping. Pour into a large bowl and set aside to cool. Repeat with the remaining oil and popping corn.
2 When the popcorn has cooled, stir in the coconut and marshmallows. Lightly oil a 13-inch x 9-inch baking pan.
3 In a heavy-bottom pan, melt the corn syrup, sugar, and butter over gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved. Using a wet pastry brush, wash down the sides of the pan to dissolve stray sugar crystals that may cause the syrup to crystallize while cooking.
4 Turn up the heat to a steady boil and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until a candy thermometer measures 250°F (the firm ball stage). If you don’t have a thermometer, drop a teaspoon of mixture into a bowl of cold water. It should form a firm ball between your fingers.
5 Quickly stir the syrup into the popcorn mixture and immediately turn out into the baking pan—some of the marshmallows will melt and some will stay whole. Level the mixture and leave to set.
6 Turn out the whole bark onto a board lined with parchment paper and then use a sharp knife to cut it into squares. This bark keeps for up to a
week in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag.
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Makes: 36 pieces
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Excerpted from Handmade Gifts from the Kitchen. Copyright © 2014 Alison Walker. Published by Appetite by Random House, a division of Random House of Canada Limited a Penguin Random House Company. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.