Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Celebrating National Popcorn Day...Featuring Touchdown Popcorn Toffee Bark #NationalPopcornDay #popcorn #toffee #gamedaysnack


Art from NationalDayCalendar.com
I am SO EXCITED that is January 19th is National Popcorn Day -- a day dedicated to celebrating one of our favorite snacks! Per information found at factretriever.com
Americans eat nearly 17 billion quarts of popcorn every year...an amount would fill the Empire State Building 18 times! Further, 70% of popcorn sold in the U.S.  is eaten at home; the other 30% is eaten in theaters, stadiums, school, etc. When I saw a recipe for a quick popcorn-based toffee bark in Bon Appetit, it immediately caught my eye. I tweaked their recipe a bit to create my addicting Touchdown Popcorn Toffee Bark. With the NFL playoffs in full swing...and the Super Bowl on the horizon...this is a perfect recipe to have on hand for game day snacking!!

A crunchy graham cracker base is topped with popcorn and a few other tasty toppings. Before baking a quick homemade salted vanilla-cinnamon toffee is poured over the top. After a few minutes in the oven, the toffee is topped with a generous amount of semisweet and white chocolate chunks. After the bark cools, it's broken into pieces to serve. Trust me: this sweet-salty snack will score a touchdown with your hungry friends and family on game day...nobody can eat only one piece!

Touchdown Popcorn Toffee Bark
adapted from Bon Appetit 
Ingredients (serves 6-8 people):
  • 4 cups popped popcorn
  • 15 sheets of honey graham crackers
  • 1 cup honey-nut oat cereal
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecan pieces
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
For the salted toffee:
  • 3 sticks salted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick spray. Line the baking sheet with the graham crackers, breaking them up as necessary to completely fill the pan. Top the graham crackers with the popcorn, then sprinkle evenly with the cereal and pecans. Set aside while you make the toffee.
Step 2: Make the toffee. Add the butter, vanilla sugar, salt, and cinnamon to a large non-stick saucepan over med-high heat. When the butter has melted and the contents begin to boil, stir once to combine. Lower the heat to med-low and simmer for 8-10 minutes, swirling the saucepan every couple of minutes. The toffee should be golden-brown and syrupy after 8-10 minutes. Turn off the heat and give the toffee one last good stir. 
Step 3: Carefully pour the hot toffee over the prepared ingredients in the baking sheet, evenly from edge to edge. Bake the for 10-12 minutes, until the toffee is bubbly and has become deeper in color. Remove the baking sheet from oven. Immediately top the baked bark with the semisweet and white chocolate pieces. 
Step 4: To accelerate the cooling process, place the rimmed baking sheet in the fridge for 1 hour. To serve, break the cooled bark into pieces and place them on a serving platter. This bark is quite rich, so don't make the pieces too large Two-to-three bites per piece is perfect!
This salty-sweet treat is insanely good! As in...you'll likely find yourself stopping to sneak "one more bite" every time you pass the platter. The graham cracker base, popcorn, cereal, and nuts are covered by the salty cinnamon-infused toffee. The addition of TWO kinds of chocolate takes this treat right over the top. To emphasize the salty flavor component of this bark, substitute coarsely crushed pretzels for all or some of the oat cereal! This bark can be made up to 3 days ahead of game day. Simply store the bark in an airtight container until kickoff!

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