Last Minute Gifts- Popcorn Flavours- Vancouver Island Popcorn

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I was chatting with an elder in a checkout line and she told me that every Christmas she fills huge stockings for all of her ten grandchildren. Since she lives on a fixed income she needs to be very creative about it. Before Christmas she pops a massive tub of popcorn, and puts a large bag of popcorn into the top of each stocking. I laughed as she explained- it’s cheap, takes up lots of room in the stocking, and as a bonus, it gives the grandchildren something to munch on, keeping them busy and giving the adults just a wee bit longer to sleep on Christmas morning. Brilliant! (of course the little ones still need some supervision and children under four shouldn’t have it- popcorn can be a choking hazard)

Afterwards it got me thinking- what could I do to popcorn to make it something special to add to gifts? Since I had just been making Nanaimo bars, that was where I started. I experimented until I got a fun and easy new recipe- “Vancouver Island Popcorn” (I go further afield than Nanaimo). Make a bag and pair it up with a paperback and you have a perfect last minute gift.

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Ingredients:
– 8 cups of popped corn.
– 3/4 cup icing sugar
– 2 tablespoons butter or vegan spread
– 1 tablespoon custard powder
– 1/8 cup coconut
– 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
– 1/8 cup crushed walnuts
– 1/2 to 3/4 cup chocolate chips or pieces100_3439
– 1 teaspoon canola oil
– 1 teaspoon salt

Directions:
– Divide the popcorn into two bowls (4 cups/bowl).
– Blend the icing sugar, custard powder, and butter or spread, and mix until smooth and creamy. Blend this 100_3446custard cream into one popcorn bowl, mixing to coat all popcorn. Spread the coated corn out onto a baking tray or parchment paper to dry.
– Mix the coconut, graham cracker crumbs, and crushed walnuts and set aside.
– Spread the remaining bowl of popcorn out in a single layer on a baking sheet.
– Melt the chocolate and mix with the oil.100_3457
– Drizzle the chocolate mixture over the unflavoured popcorn and then sprinkle with the dry coconut/crumb/nut mixture. Stir until popcorn is evenly coated and most of the dry mixture is clinging to the chocolate. Spread the coated popcorn out to dry.
– When both flavours are dry, stir them together in a large bowl.
– Add the salt and stir again. For some 100_3290reason (anyone know the science of this?) the salt wakes the Nanaimo bar flavour up in your mouth and finishes the taste.

_mmmm
– For an extra sweet and pretty treat, you can also stir in chopped up Nanaimo bar pieces.

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