One of America’s favorite snacks — popcorn — is much more versatile than you might imagine. Here are some ideas.

CHEESE TACO POPCORN

from frugallivingmom.com

1 tablespoon Nutritional Yeast

1⁄8 teaspoon garlic powder

1⁄8 teaspoon onion powder

1⁄8 teaspoon cumin

1⁄8 teaspoon paprika

1⁄8 teaspoon chili powder (not hot)

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

Put all ingredients in to a coffer grinder and grind for a few seconds

Sprinkle on 6-8 cups of popcorn prepared with butter or coconut oil or a combo of both.

Place any leftover in a small airtight container.

BUFFALO PARMESAN 

POPCORN

from bakeyourday.net

4 cups popped popcorn

2 Tbs. butter

2 Tbs. Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

1⁄4 tsp. Cajun seasoning

1⁄2 tsp. salt

1⁄2 tsp. pepper

2 Tbs. Parmesan cheese

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. When the butter starts to melt, add the Frank’s and Cajun seasoning. Stir to combine and remove from heat.

Slowly pour the mixture over the popped popcorn and toss to combine until fully distributed. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese and toss to coat.

POPCORN COOKIES

from tasteofhome.com

1⁄2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour

1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda

Dash salt

2 cups popped popcorn, lightly crushed

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

1⁄2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Stir in popcorn, chocolate chips and pecans.

Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, 13-14 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.

SALTED CARAMEL

 POPCORN ICE CREAM CAKE

from thesugarhit.com

For the cake:

¾ stick butter

¾ cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

¾ cup (190ml) milk

For the caramel:

1 cup sugar

½ cup cream

½ cup butter

½ - 1 tsp sea salt

To assemble:

1 quart of vanilla ice cream

2 cups popped popcorn

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease and line an 8-inch springform cake tin.

To make the cake, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.

Stir together the flour and baking powder, then mixing slowly, add the flour and milk alternately in two or three additions. Mix until everything is just incorporated, and then scrape into your cake tin and smooth the top.

Bake the cake for 40-50 minutes or until the top springs back when touched lightly, and a skewer comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool completely, and then chill it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight - the cake is easier to assemble if everything is cold.

To make the caramel, place the sugar into a medium saucepan with a splash of water and place over a medium heat. Do not stir the mixture at all, just tilt the pan if it is melting unevenly.

Cook until the sugar is melted, and then let it boil until the mixture turns a dark amber colour, about 5-7 minutes.

Remove the caramel from the heat, and very carefully add the cream and butter. The mixture will bubble up furiously, but just leave it to calm down, and once it's calm, place it back on the heat and stir until everything is melted and amalgamated. Add the salt, to taste, and then leave the sauce to cool completely, and then chill in the fridge.

To assemble the cake, get the ice cream out of the fridge for about 15 minutes to soften. While it’s softening carefully slice the cake into two even layers, and line a springform cake tin with plenty of plastic wrap.

Place the bottom layer of the cake into the tin, and then scoop in the ice cream, adding dollops of the chilled caramel as you go, to create a ripple effect. You should use about half the caramel. Once all the ice cream is in, quickly add the top layer of cake, very lightly press down and then cover it with plastic and place in the freezer for at least four hours to set.

When you’re ready to serve the cake, heat the remaining caramel, and place the popcorn into a mixing bowl. Pour over about half the caramel, and toss with the popcorn. Unwrap the frozen cake and place it on a serving dish. Carefully pile on the popcorn, drizzle with the remaining caramel and serve.

HOT CHOCOLATE

POPCORN BALLS

from insidebrucrewife.com

8 cups popped popcorn

4 cups miniature marshmallows

4 Tablespoons butter

1⁄2 cup white chocolate chips

6 Tablespoons hot chocolate mix

4 ounces white CandiQuik, melted

sprinkles

mini marshmallow bits

straws

Place the mini marshmallows and butter in a large saucepan. Heat over low/medium heat until melted and creamy. Stir in the white chocolate chips and stir again until melted. Add the hot chocolate mix and stir again. Pour over the popcorn that is in a bowl. Stir to cover all the pieces.

Dump the popcorn mixture into a buttered 9x13 pan. Spread it out gently, but do not press it down. Cut the mixture into 12 even squares. Form each square into a ball, but do not press it together too firmly. Press a straw down into the center of each one. Let set until completely cool.

Drizzle the tops of each ball with melted CandiQuik. Top with sprinkles and mini marshmallow bits. Let set. Store in a sealed container.

(606) 326-2661 |

lward@dailyindependent.com

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