The history of popcorn dates back to the America's more than 5000 years ago. Native Americans ate these airy kernels and in no time colonists adopted the puffy snack and began tweaking the toppings. This recipe is the homemade, finger licking, New England version of Cracker Jack. Sweet and salty and buttery all at once, BOURBON MAPLE SYRUP is the secret weapon for over the top flavor nuance. The goodness of syrup tapped from Vermont sugar maple trees and then aged for 14 weeks in Kentucky bourbon barrels seeks to provide a euphoric snacking adventure. The popcorn will still be movie worthy if made with syrup straight from the tree--but do consider spiking the syrup with a bit of bourbon whiskey while making the topping--it will burn off during the two minutes on the stove, but a subtle smoky bourbon taste will linger.
- Heat the oil in a 4 quart cocotte over medium high heat for 2 minutes.
- Add the popcorn kernels and evenly distribute in one layer over the bottom of the pot.
- Cover the pot, remove from heat and wait 30 seconds.
- Return the pot to the stove top and the popping should be getting started. With the lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape, gently but continuously shake the pan back and forth until the popping wanes. Pour the popped corn into a glass bowl and set aside.
- Melt maple syrup and butter together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Stir in the sea salt.
- Continue cooking syrup for 2 minutes, or until the mixture is thick with a light golden color.
- Remove from heat and pour immediately over popcorn. Quickly toss the popcorn with 2 long wooden spoons (do not touch the syrup) until well coated in syrup.
- Let the popped corn cool for 5 minutes, tossing occasionally, so that the syrup can harden and popcorn is mostly clump free.
These nibbles are great, fun and healthy lunchbox editions. If truffle salt and truffle oil are unavailable, try olive oil and sumac, or olive oil and lemon pepper seasoning.