Counting it Down


I’ll keep this short and sweet because, let’s be honest, we’ve all got things to attend to. Somehow I woke up this morning staring December 21st in the face and none too pleased about it. We always talk about how we can’t believe it’s already such and such holiday/season/milestone, but this year it’s really true. I blinked and it was almost over. So hopefully you have things a little more under control than I do at the moment. I got an exciting temporary writing job so I’ve been hunkering down in my pj’s writing online copy while trying to check things off my holiday list: wrapping, card-writing, packing up boxes (YES, we found a place and I can’t wait to tell you all about it).

At my yoga class a few days ago, the instructor was talking about what a magical time of year it is and she started going on and on about our dynamic energy fields. I’ll admit it, I tuned out in the midst of my downward dog. But something she said resonated with me: across so many cultures and religions, at this particular moment in the year, millions of people are celebrating their holidays and beliefs. When that many people start devoting their energy towards something good– looking inward and celebrating with family and friends–it does something to the energy around all of us. It may be a little out there for you. In some ways, it’s a little out there for me. But there’s always that moment when I feel Christmas come on, that little tugging inside that reminds you what magic and belief feel like–and that’s what I think she was alluding to. So here’s to hoping you get everything done on your list in the coming days. But even more importantly, here’s to hoping you find some light and that you can step into the playfulness, anticipation, and awe of the season…if only for a few moments.

Now let’s get right to business with three simple words: Eggnog Popcorn Balls. I came across this recipe on Chow.com recently and couldn’t wait to try it.

These are a quick, easy holiday treat and with the addition of vanilla and nutmeg, have a flavor amazingly reminiscent of eggnog (which is great combined with the crunch of popcorn). I decided to make them minis instead of full-size as the recipe instructed mainly because we’ve got so many darn sweets lying around the house. I also made a couple alterations to the recipe after trying it a few times: more nuts and a little less popcorn so they syrup coats each piece. I couldn’t, for the life of me, find plain popcorn anywhere. I did find “natural” popcorn but it was salted, so I ended up using that and just omitted the salt and it turned out wonderfully. I think popping your own is the key to finding unadulterated popcorn these days. Enjoy, and thank you so much for stopping by. More and more each day, I’m thankful for my readers. You all bring me joy. Happy holidays.

 

Mini Eggnog Popcorn Balls

Mini Eggnog Popcorn Balls

  • Yield: 15 mini popcorn balls (about 1 1/2 inch diameter)
  • Prep time: 5 mins
  • Cook time: 15 mins
  • Inactive time: 15 mins
  • Total time: 35 mins

Slightly adapted from: Chow.com

Ingredients

8 cups plain popcorn
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup water
1 tsp. distilled white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter (1/2 stick, but into small pieces)
3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

Instructions

Coat a large heatproof bowl with butter or oil and place popcorn in bowl. Toast pecans in oven at 350 F until fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Place sugar, corn syrup, water, vinegar, and salt in a medium saucepan and stir to combine. Place over high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Bring to a boil and cook until mixture registers 260 F on a candy thermometer, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter, nutmeg, and vanilla until melted and smooth.

Immediately drizzle sugar mixture over popcorn. Add pecans and stir continuously with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom of the bowl, until popcorn is thoroughly coated and cool enough to handle, about 3 minutes.

Using buttered or oiled hands, tightly press mixture (it may still be warm) into mini rounds. Place on waxed paper to cool completely, about 15 minutes.

Comments

  1. Shannalee

    wow, these photos are gorgeous. congrats on the new place - can't wait to hear how that all goes for you. and amen to slowing down to appreciate this time of year. we all need a little more of that.

  2. Christine Yue

    Glad you liked it! We had fun developing the recipe.

  3. tara

    I do believe that these just darn blew my mind. How crazy would kids be for eggnog popcorn balls? And the mini size is too cute.

  4. Rob

    Eggnog and popcorn. I love it. These look and sound great!
    I also did popcorn recently, but with the addition of carmel and some spice.
    http://the-dogs-breakfast.com/?p=1066

  5. kelly

    so funny we had the same idea! enjoy the holidays!

  6. Cari Snell

    So cute and they look delicious to boot!

  7. Jennifer

    How festive popcorn!!! Merry Christmas!

  8. Megan Gordon

    Thanks for your sweet comments, Shannalee, Tara, Cari, Christine, and Jennifer...Happy Holidays to you, too!

    And Rob: yours looks lovely! Very curious to try it and love your presentation!

  9. El

    Congratulations on your new writing job. Between that and a new apartment things are bound to get better. Thanks for passing along the positive energy. I think we could all use a boost right now. These eggnog balls look like a great addition to the festivities. Happy Christmas to you!

  10. Karine

    Original recipe and it seems delicious!

    Congrats on your writing job and Happy New Year!

  11. Sophie

    MMMMMMMM,....lovely & apart!!

    The endresult looks so tasty!

  12. Shannon

    Eggnog and popcorn! I love it! and I have to try this recipe.

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