Last weekend on the way home from our out of town trip we stopped at a convienence store to buy a treat for the drive. There was a display of different flavors of gourmet popcorn and I bought a little bag of marshmallow popcorn. I'm a big fan of popcorn and it sounded good.
It was really REALLY good. Seriously good. Ever since I ate that popcorn I've been craving marshmallow popcorn. I've been talking about it all week. The convienence store I bought it at is a four hour drive from here, so I couldn't just go buy another bag, and I've never seen it anywhere else.
Yesterday I decided that I was going to die if I didn't eat marshmallow popcorn (OK, so it wasn't THAT dramatic) so on our way out of town yesterday morning we stopped at two different gourmet popcorn stores that I tracked down on the internet to see if they had it. Both stores were closed for the holiday. Darn.
So this morning I was still craving it. I must have marshmallow popcorn.
I decided that I didn't need to go buy any. Surely there must be an easy recipe for marshmallow popcorn on the internet and I could just make some.
I looked and there were several versions, most requiring marshmallow creme and I didn't have any. Not wanting to make a trip to the store I dug through the back of my pantry and found a bag of marshmallows that have been there forever and decided that I would just make the popcorn version of rice crispy treats. Simple enough.
The problem was that my bag of marshmallows had been sitting in the back of my pantry for so long that they were kind of hard. No worries, surely if I melt them in a pan with butter they'll soften up and melt, right?
So there I was trying to melt hard marshmallows in a saucepan. I chose a really bad time of the day to do it. Clarissa was fussy and I was going back and forth between trying to entertain her and melt the darn marshmallows. In the middle of it the doorbell rang and it was a salesman trying to sell his bug spray services. No thank you, I'm trying to melt hard marshmallows in a saucepan with butter.
The marshmallows wouldn't melt. I had this ridiculous brick of marshmallows in the saucepan that wouldn't really break up and all I really managed to do was melt butter and make a sticky burned mess of marshmallow goo that was still the shape of a brick.
Let me just say here that I really don't like to cook and bake. I CAN cook, it's just not something I really enjoy. My chocolate chip cookies come ready to bake and I have a cake lady who makes all our birthday cakes. (If anyone needs the number of a good cake lady, I have one. I wonder if she makes marshmallow popcorn...) I'm never going to be crowned Mother Of The Year because I don't wear a cute apron and have fresh homemade cookies for my children when they come home from school. Poor kids.
So after my burned marshmallow brick disaster I decided that it was time to go to the store for marshmallow creme, which is what I should have done in the first place. (actually, what I SHOULD have done is gone back to the gourmet popcorn store, which I'm sure is open today...)
By this time it was Clarissa's nap time but I wasn't about to give up on my quest for marshmallow popcorn so we made a super quick trip to the store. We got home, by some miracle without Clarissa falling asleep in the car, I got Clarissa down for her nap and I went back to my project.
The recipe I found was pretty much just marshmallow creme and popcorn, mixed and baked on a cookie sheet at 325 for 10 minutes. It sounded easy enough.
First of all, you're supposed to warm the marshmallow creme in the microwave. The directions said "microwave for 1 minute, stir and microwave 30 seconds more". I put it in the microwave, hit the minute button, and waited. When the microwaved dinged I opened it...and found a big mess of melted marshmallow creme all over my microwave. *sigh* Really?
What I discovered is that you really can't microwave marshmallow creme for one minute straight. It expands when it gets hot and overflows all over the place. Good thing I bought two jars.
So I cleaned my microwave and went for round two. This time I microwaved it in about 20 second increments, stirring inbetween so it wouldn't overflow. Success.
Then I poured it over the popcorn. The directions said to pour over the popcorn and stir. Seriously? All I managed to do was stick a spoon the middle of the melted goo and sort of move it around. I finally got my hands in there and made a ginourmous sticky mess, but I got the popcorn coated.
By this time my kitchen looked like a marshmallow factory exploded. Even on a good day I'm a messy cook. I admire people who can make a huge meal and leave behind nothing but a few dishes in the sink. When I cook or bake anything, there is flour, sugar, spices or whatever else I'm using from one end of the kitchen to the other by the time I'm finished. Today was no exception. There was popcorn everywhere, sticky marshmallow goo on the countertops, in the sink, on the three bowls it took me to mix the popcorn properly, in the midst of it I knocked over a glass of water I was drinking and had to stop to mop the floor...it was quite a sight.
Finally, by some miracle I managed to get the popcorn spread somewhat evenly in the cookie sheet and into the oven.
I waited 10 minutes, took it out, impatiently waited for it to cool, excitedly took a bite...and it was pretty mediocre. *sigh*
Right now I'm sitting here blogging and eating my mediocre marshmallow popcorn. It might be mediocre, but it took me all afternoon to make, so I'm going to eat every last bite of it!
And then tomorrow I'm going to go to the gourmet popcorn store. :)