Game Day Popcorn Palooza

As I’m sure everyone is aware, this past weekend (or week since it started on Thursday?) was a merger between Labor Day Weekend and the start of college football! Because of the occasion, my husband and I were invited to a Husker game party/outdoor BBQ on Saturday. Our only requirement was to show up to the party, but I can’t ever seem to do that without bringing some kind of food along too… So, my husband decided that we would make several different kinds of popcorn.

We ended up making cinnamon (Husker Red), caramel, and a recipe for “rocky road popcorn balls” that he found on allrecipes.com. It really doesn’t surprise me that he picked flavored popcorn – this is the guy that had my aunt make him cinnamon popcorn as a grooms cake (works for me; I like it too!).

I think our little air-popper was about done by the time we were finished popping all the kernels!  Nevertheless, the popcorn went over really well, so we may have to make the Husker-Red popcorn our signature game day treat!  Enjoy!

Cinnamon Popcorn
1 pkg. red hots
1/2 c. white corn syrup
1 c. butter
6 qt. air-popped popcorn

Pop the popcorn. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Add the first 3 ingredients to a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Pour the red hot mixture over the popcorn and toss to coat. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on waxed paper to cool.

Caramel Popcorn
1/2 c. butter
2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. corn syrup
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 qts. popped popcorn

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place popcorn in a large bowl. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat. Place in 2 large shallow baking dishes and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, stirring at 15 mintues. Remove and let cool on waxed paper.

Rocky Road Popcorn Balls
3 c. miniature marshmallows
1/4 c. butter
8 c. popped popcorn
1/2 c. dry-roasted unsalted peanuts
1/2 c. miniature chocolate chips

Place the marshmallows and butter into a large pot over medium-low heat, and melt them together, stirring often. Cook until blended and smooth, about 5 mintues. Remove from heat. Stir in the popcorn and peanuts, and stir gently to thouroughly coat them with teh marshmallow mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips. With greased hands (or kitchen gloves), shape the mixture into 3-inch balls, and wrap each in plastic wrap.

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