Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from The Weekend Gourmet...Featuring Pumpkin Pie Popcorn Snack Mix

We'll be hitting the road tomorrow afternoon to spend Thanksgiving with our families in Houston. I wanted to pop in here and wish you all a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving before I'm off the grid for a couple of days! After hosting Michael's family for Thanksgiving at our home the past two years, it feels a bit strange not to be cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Work's been brutal for me the past few weeks, so I'm letting someone else do the cooking this year. But? I just couldn't show up empty handed...I've learned that when you're a food blogger, people expect you to cook something!

I decided to make a fun and yummy Thanksgiving popcorn snack mix with all the flavors of pumpkin pie...but in a form you can munch by the handful. The nice people at Kernel Season's sent me two of their fall special-edition flavors recently, so I decided to use the Pumpkin Spice flavor to season this snack mix. This popcorn mix is pretty addictive -- in addition to flavored popcorn, it has cinnamon Teddy Grahams, mini marshmallows, and glazed pecans. A generous drizzle of melted white chocolate flavored with pumpkin spice brings all the flavors together.

Pumpkin Pie Popcorn Snack Mix
a Weekend Gourmet Original

Step 1:  Pop a bag of your favorite microwave popcorn; you'll want about 8 cups of popcorn. Line a jelly roll pan or large rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil. Spread the popcorn evenly on the pan and carefully remove any unpopped kernels...no one wants a broken tooth for Thanksgiving! Spray the popcorn liberally with butter-flavored spray and sprinkle generously with Kernel Seasons Pumpkin Spice seasoning. Toss and sprinkle to get all sides evenly coated with flavor.

Step 2:  Evenly top the popcorn with 1.5 cups mini marshmallows, 1.5 cups cinnamon Teddy Grahams, and 1 cup of glazed pecan pieces. Melt 2 cups of white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Add 1 tbs. pumpkin pie spice and stir well to combine. Drizzle the spiced melted white chocolate evenly over the popcorn mix.

Step 3:  Place the pan with the popcorn mix in the fridge for about 15 minutes. This allows the white chocolate to set. Once the snack mix is set, break it into pieces and store in an airtight container. 

This snack mix is so yummy...the spices definitely taste like pumpkin pie, and the marshmallows, graham, and nuts echo the components of pumpkin pie as well. Add in crunchy popcorn and yummy spiced white chocolate, and you've got a really fun Thanksgiving treat! My main inspiration for this snack mix was to bring something for everyone to munch on during the after-meal football games on Thursday. I'm betting that it would be a big hit with kiddos too since thanks to the mini marshmallows and the Teddy Grahams. 

Make sure to store this mix in an airtight container...that's how I'm keeping mine fresh between now and Thursday. If you can't locate the Kernel Season's in your local store, I would suggest combining 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 cup light brown sugar, and 1 tbs. of pumpkin pie spice and sprinkling it over the popcorn in its place. That would be pretty close to the flavor profile of the seasoning. I'll be back on Friday to share a fantastic recipe for Kitchen Sink Jambalaya. I'll kick off the Christmas season this weekend with some of my favorite peppermint recipes -- peppermint is my FAVORITE Christmas flavor profile. I'll also be reviewing and giving away some delish peppermint-infused chocolates. See you then, my friends!

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