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Gingerbread Popcorn

Gingerbread Popcorn

Is there any flavor more synonymous with the Christmas holidays than gingerbread? That earthy blend of molasses, brown sugar and spices instantly conjures holiday memories and highly decorated gingerbread houses. We love the flavor in both cookies and cakes but it’s just as amazing in gingerbread popcorn.

Gingerbread has an incredibly long history and many variations. The United States, England, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the Baltic countries all have their own versions of this holiday treat. The recipe can be altered to produce a dough that is either soft or hard, like the construction grade gingerbread typically baked to construct gingerbread houses. The flavors of gingerbread can be baked into a cake. And even the spices can vary greatly. Ginger is the common flavor, of course, But the sweetness can come from sugar or honey. It can contain cloves or cinnamon and some older versions even included pepper for a more fiery flavor. Our version leaves out the clove because we think it takes over the other spices. But feel free to add some if you love it. You do you when it comes to gingerbread spices. Although we adore cinnamon, we kept it light here so that it wouldn’t overpower the ginger. We wanted a gingery gingerbread flavor. And we stuck with the most common molasses along with a light brown sugar. Our syrup smelled like wonderful gingerbread even before it hit the oven.

Once we coated the popcorn and had it baking, we could gingerbread even before it was ready to take out of the oven. It’s so tempting to eat right away but it’s better to let it sit for a while to harden a bit. The coating will adhere to the popcorn and you’ll get a lovely gingerbread crunch. Even the non gingerbread fanatics around here were smitten with this recipe.

And since the holidays are also about gift giving and sharing treats, we made extra batches to give away to friends and neighbors. Just pick up some Mason jars at the hardware store, fill them with the finished gingerbread popcorn, tie them with a festive ribbon and include a gift note. If you’re so inclined, you can include a gingerbread cookie attached to the ribbon. Homemade or store bought, we’re sure your gift recipient will appreciate both treats.

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