Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ahoy, Matey! It's a Party

I'm hoping the nutrition police won't make me walk the plank for serving sweet popcorn mix and sheet cakes at 9 o'clock in the morning.  (Yes, that's a mixed metaphor if you've ever read one. But stick with me.)

Maybe I'll be forgiven since the sweet treats were for a surprise birthday party for our minister. We're still in the getting-to-know-you stage with Pastor Ben, who began serving the Stafford United Methodist Church this month. We know he wears high-top sneakers to match the color of the current liturgical season. Right now, that means his pastoral robes are jazzed up with bright green Converses. We also know that he has an affinity for pirates. Who would have thought that I'd type "Talk Like A Pirate Day: September 22" on the agenda for the upcoming worship team meeting? Not me.
His birthday actually fell on his second Sunday with us. Lucky him, right? (I'm not sure he'd agree.) Anyway, when I saw a pirate pinata on a sale table, I thought it was the perfect centerpiece for a surprise birthday party.
When I saw the same popcorn snack mix featured in two of my bookmarked foods blogs, it was like Blackbeard himself was giving me party-planning tips 'cause this popcorn mix is like a sweet treasure with its mix of M&Ms, miniature marshmallows, mini chocolate chips and oatmeal. Oatmeal? Yep, oatmeal! Does oatmeal give it any redeeming nutritional value at all? Probably not, but it does help give it a monster cookie-esque taste.

It also has chocolate chip cookie dough candy bites. Since I had to go to Hutchinson for a personal dental emergency, it allowed me to pick up this ingredient that I can't find at my local stores. (No, the irony of shopping for candy after having to visit the dentist for a bad toothache is not lost on me.)

Whether you're looking for a way to celebrate a birthday or just want an easy movie night snack mix, you'll want to add this Monster Cookie Dough Popcorn Munch to your treasure chest, errrrrrr, recipe box. It would also be delicious for tailgating (though you may need to wait until it's cooler so the chocolate bits don't melt). You could even dress it up for the occasion by using M&Ms in your favorite team's colors.

Monster Cookie Dough Popcorn Munch
Adapted from Inside Bru Crew Life blog
7 cups popped popcorn
1 cup M & Ms
1 cup cookie dough bites candy
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
10 oz. almond bark
1/3 cup biscoff cookie spread
1/2 cup quick oats

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the almond bark, heating for 1 minute at a time at 70 percent power, then stirring. Continue until the almond bark is melted, making sure it doesn't burn. Add the biscoff spread and stir until melted and creamy. Stir in the oats. Let cool for 3 to 4 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the popcorn and marshmallows. Pour the melted almond bark mixture on top and toss lightly until everything is coated. Add the cookie dough bites, M&Ms and mini chocolate chips and toss lightly again. Pour the popcorn out on a large, waxed-paper-lined cookie sheet. Place in the refrigerator about 5 minutes to set up. Take out and break into chunks. Store in a tightly sealed bag or container.

  •  If you want a little more salty element, add a cup or so of deluxe mixed nuts. 
  • The original recipe called for 1 1/4 cups white chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon of shortening, melted together. I used the almond bark instead.  
  • If you don't want to measure, 7 cups of popped popcorn is roughly 1 regular bag of microwave popcorn. (There's probably a little more than that, but it works.) Be sure to discard any "old maids" before mixing up the snack mix. You don't want an unexpected trip to the dentist either. (FYI: That wasn't my problem.)
  • You can find biscoff cookie spread by the peanut butter at some food stores.
  • I found the cookie dough bites candy in the candy aisle of a discount store. The box looks like you'd get at the snack counter at the movie theater. 
See that Strawberry Sheet Cake in the corner of the pirate pinata photo? It's a favorite cake at Stafford United Methodist Church and is as easy as it is tasty. Click here for the recipe, which begins with a white cake mix. I also made a chocolate sheet cake and a Texas white sheet cake from scratch. They are all church approved.

I'm linked today to Ashley's What's In Your Kitchen Wednesday. Click on the link for more tried-and-true recipes from food bloggers.

1 comment:

  1. Yummy! That’s the best popcorn munch twist I’ve ever seen. I bet it tastes as delicious as it appears. I guess the nutrition police could let this pass since it’s a birthday party, and scrummy snacks like these are inevitable parts of the fun. Cheers!

    Elaine Gregory @ Tiger Nuts