This recipe is a fun and creative alternative to your typical Easter cookies and cakes. Show off your creative side by decorating your Popcorn Bunnies with an assortment of candy, nuts and icing.
Tools & Materials
- Large metal bowl
- Candy thermometer
- Bunny shaped cookie cutters
- Cookie sheet
- Clean rubber gloves
- 3 tablespoons of organic sunflower oil
- 1 cup organic, heirloom popcorn kernels (7 ounces)
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt (fine grain)
- 2 cups light organic brown sugar
- 1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
- 1/2 cup organic light agave syrup
- 1 cup organic salted butter (Straus is my favorite brand)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup organic sweetened coconut shreds
- Melted butter or non-stick spray
- Various decoration materials: royal icing; jelly beans; licorice laces; chocolate covered sunflower seeds; coconut shreds; M & Ms
My preference is to use a hand-cranked, stovetop popper. Place the oil, salt and popcorn in a stovetop, hand cranked popcorn maker. Place it over medium heat. Shake and agitate/rotate the handle constantly. The ideal popping temperature is 479F. Continue shaking and agitating until the popcorn finishes popping, approximately 3 minutes.
If you don't have a popper, please clink on the link below for directions on how to make popcorn without a hand-cranked popcorn popper.
2. Combine popped popcorn and sweetened coconut shreds in a large bowl. Set aside.
3. Grease cookie cutters and a cookie sheet with butter or non-stick spray
4. Combine brown sugar, cane sugar, butter, and agave syrup in a medium heavy saucepan (copper is best). Stir the caramel mixture constantly with a wooden spoon and heat to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Cook until mixture reaches 260F degrees on a candy thermometer. Then, immediately sprinkle baking soda into the mixture and quickly stir it a few times. This should "fluff" up the mixture. Remove from heat.
5. Pour caramel over the popcorn & coconut mixture. Stir with a large heat-resistant spatula to evenly coat popcorn.
6. Using a clean rubber glove, scoop a handful of warm caramel popcorn into a cookie cutter. Using the cookie cutter as a mold, press down the caramel popcorn to fill each corner. Once the popcorn has molded into a bunny shape, carefully remove the cookie cutter.
7. Decorate caramel popcorn bunny with candy and royal icing. Ideas: Red gumdrop for the bunny nose. Chocolate covered sunflower seeds for the eyes. Cut strings of black string licorice and place these on either side of the gumdrop to act as whiskers. Gift idea: wrap the decorated bunny in cello bag and tie with a ribbon.
You can create an easy substitute for a hand-cranked popcorn maker by following the instructions below. For the best, most delicious results, season your Popcorn immediately after you pop it.
Tools & Materials
- 6-quart, metal mixing bowl
- Heavy-duty aluminum foil
- Pair of tongs
- 6 tablespoons 479° Popcorn kernels
- 2 tablespoons high oleic organic sunflower oil
- Add 1/4 teaspoon finely milled sea salt* to the recipe above
Pour the oil and popcorn kernels into the metal bowl (add salt if making salted popcorn). Cover the bowl with a sheet of aluminum foil and crimp to seal. Poke 6 to 8 slits on top of the foil with a paring knife. Place the bowl over medium heat. Shake and rotate it constantly using a pair of tongs. Continue cooking until the popping slows to about 3 to 4 seconds between pops.