New Year’s Eve Popcorn

As promised, I’m bringing you the low-down on the savory-sweet dessert feast from Tasha DeSerio‘s Sweet Sparklers found in the Dec 2010/Jan 2011 issue of Fine Cooking magazine. All of the recipes are online so if you don’t have the mag (so sad since it’s always so good) find everything you need here (click on menu items near the top right of that page).

Today I’m reviewing three recipes that I made (almost) exactly as instructed. In this post: Popcorn with Sweet Butter and Sea Salt. Also check out my review of Bittersweet Chocolate Bark with Marcona Almonds and my review of Apple, Fennel and Cheddar Cheese Straws.

Popcorn with Sweet Butter and Sea Salt:

It’s just popcorn, right? You might be tempted to serve a bag of microwavable stuff or skip this dish entirely. That would be a big mistake. BIG. HUGE. It is crazy-good popcorn, somewhere between caramel corn and buttery movie-theater fare.

Long after the ball drops, when the conversations get quieter and night swings towards the wee hours of the morning, having this fluffy stuff ready for munching will amplify that cozy end-of-night feeling while satiating any late night cravings.

We popped ours 30 minutes before the party started, as instructed (yes, our house smelled like a movie theater but trust me, it was a great thing). I was still addicted to it hours later.

Before everyone arrived, we filled little disposable cups with popcorn and set them in groups on end tables throughout the room so that guests were always within reach of a bit of nostalgia.

Check out my recipes that were inspired by this menu: Salted Pineapple and Pecan Angel Slice, Rosemary-Orange-Lemon-Curd Slice, White Chocolate Bark with Blueberries, Pine Nuts and a Zest of Lemon, Spicy Maple Cashews, and Cranberry Ginger Brie.


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  1. #1 by Phyllis on December 27, 2010 - 10:13 pm

    Make lots. I tried it and it is delicious and very addicting.

    • #2 by cookthestory on December 28, 2010 - 9:21 pm

      A friend of mine has made this recipe and reports quite a bit of scorching. I’ve made this recipe 3 times now and once I did have a tiny bit of scorching. The difference for me was in the pot. With a heavy bottomed pot, all is good. When my heavey bottomed pot was in the fridge full of chicken soup and I decided to use a thinner pot, there were some burnt kernels. My advice: use your heaviest pot. If you’re still worried, hold the pot just above the burner for most of the time, only letting it touch gently once every few seconds. Happy popcorning!

  1. New Year’s Eve Cheese Straws « Cook the Story
  2. New Year’s Eve Almond Bark with a Bite « Cook the Story
  3. Rosemary-Orange-Lemon-Curd Slice « Cook the Story
  4. Sparkling Wine, a Brilliant Friend and Groovy Strawberries « Cook the Story
  5. Planning a New Year’s Eve Party? Here’s My Review of Fine Cooking’s Sweets and Sparklers Menu « Cook the Story

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