"Skip the deep fryer and make churro popcorn completely from scratch. It's sweet, chewy, and crunchy all at the same time!"
Cinco de Mayo is now less than a week away, and I’m so ready. I could use a little celebrating – working from home is wonderful and all, but after a while you can start to feel like the walls are closing in on you.
I’m just anxious to get out of the house and travel somewhere beyond my driveway.
Like to a bar.
That serves great Mexican food.
And speaking of Mexican food, I really thought I’d be posting more Mexican recipes to help me get into the celebrating spirit, but I ran into a snag. Somehow or another, making Mexican themed dishes before Cinco de Mayo is making me feel like I’m opening presents before Christmas. You know totally you want to do it, but in the back of your mind you’ve got this nagging voice telling you that it would ruin what’s special about that day if you did.
I have no idea why my mind made this weird connection other than I really, really need to get out of the house. Like to a bar. That serves great Mexican food. And tequila.
So when I was planning my recipes for the week, I thought long and hard about where I could draw the line. What can I make that is easy, still in the Cinco de Mayo spirit, but won’t make me feel like the grinch that stole the… er, guacamole? Sorry, there wasn’t many Mexican dishes I could end that with that didn’t sound like I was talking about something totally different than food.
And after some thought, I came up with the perfect compromise: churros.
Because churros are simply awesome and still common enough that I don’t see them as a special Cinco de Mayo treat.
I set about researching different churro recipes, but I was surprised to discover that these little guys are kind of tricky to make. The batter consistency needs to be just right, and ideally, you need a special star tip for your pastry bag for to achieve that iconic “ridged look” of churros, and then there’s all that oil you’ll need for deep frying (and the disposing of it after) – etc, etc, and etc. Suddenly my genius idea wasn’t seeming all that easy, and easy was requirement numero uno.
I was feeling pretty down about my churro dilemma until a stroke of inspiration hit me in the middle of a Netflix marathon: I could make churro popcorn! How perfect does that sound?! And I sure was feeling
How perfect does that sound?!
And I sure was feeling pre-tay clever about this idea until I found out that the internet already beat me to it (like always – curses!) But that’s okay. I made my own version of churro poporn, and it’s completely from scratch so you won’t need to go to the store and buy anything fancy like “cinnamon chips.” If you have basic baking ingredients lying around then churro popcorn could be in your future.
I suppose it’s fitting that I thought of this while watching Netflix, because that’s exactly what I ended up doing when I sat down with a big bowl of it.
Churro popcorn is sweet, chewy, and crunchy all at the same time, and I don’t know about you, but in my book that’s the perfect snack food for suspenseful dramas and raunchy comedies.
This will definitely become one of my new go-to snack foods.
Cinnamon Coated Popcorn
- In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the churro sugar coating (powdered sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon), then set aside.
- Prepare popcorn in a popcorn maker. You can also put popcorn in a paper bag, fold over a few times, then microwave for 90-120 seconds (or until popping slows). Pour popcorn in a large mixing bowl and set aside, giving it time to cool a little while you prepare the next steps.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add granulated sugar, cinnamon, light corn syrup, and vanilla. Allow ingredients to simmer, whisking constantly, until mixture is smooth and no longer grainy, about 2-4 minutes.
- Begin to slowly pour cinnamon coating over popcorn a little at a time. Use a spatula to gently stir and toss the popcorn to coat.
- Sprinkle the top of the popcorn with 1/3 of the churro sugar coating, then toss to coat. Continue adding more churro sugar coating until popcorn is completely covered and appears light gold in color.
- Serve immediately.