• Disclaimer: By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by National Honey Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I received a gift card to offset the expense of my ingredients.

    Around any major holiday, we all start to freak out about celebrations. Too much to plan, too many things on the errands list, and mostly...just too much junk food (when you're eating pie for breakfast multiple days in a row, there's a problem). And as soon as you know it, the Fourth of July shindig or the Christmas party is your ultimate nightmare. You're two seconds away from high tailing it to a sandy island and celebrating with a large umbrella drink and yourself.  

    My holiday mantra, whatever the month, is simple with luxury. BBQ? Potluck style with mini champagne bottles in the cooler. Birthday? Pizza bar and salad station with a crazy number of metallic marbled balloons that you would never put up for your own birthday.  

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    You know what else is simple? Humble, tiny popcorn kernels. You know what's awesome? Popcorn coated in a honey whiskey layer of crisp beauty and served as a snack or dessert...or even given as a gift. Since honey is a substitution for regular, ol' granulated sugar with more layers of flavor it's luxuriously unexpected. There are over 300 varieties of honey in the US and you can find them all with the Honey Board's locator tool. You also get to use about half the amount of honey as table sugar in most recipes for the same amount of sweetness. Clover honey adds new dimension when paired with whiskey. Think about a lavender honey with vanilla and sanding sugar. Boom.  The possibilities are endless. 

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    Honey Whiskey Popcorn

    Serves 4 (or 1...depending on if you can stop eating it) 

    Ingredients: 

    • popcorn kernels (roughly 1/2 C depending on your pot)
    • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
    • 1/4 cup honey ( I used clover)
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons whiskey
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/2 tablespoon sea salt, large crystals

    Directions: To pop the popcorn: Add 1/4 cup vegetable oil to a pot with a lid. Add 1 kernel of popcorn and cover the pot with the lid. Set heat to medium high. When the kernel pops, add enough kernels to the pot so they cover the bottom in one layer. Close the lid and gently shake the pot. When the popping slows, remove from head. 

    In a large bowl, whisk honey, whiskey and vanilla together. Add popcorn and use a spatula to toss the popcorn to evenly coat.   Pour the popcorn onto a Silpat on a baking sheet. Sprinkle on sea salt. Place in the oven at 350 F for 10 minutes or until the popcorn dries and develops a thin, crisp shell.  

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    This popcorn is addictive. The slight shell that develops over each kernel is sweet, and salt with floral layers. Also, chances are you will fight to the last nom...so portion out before serving. You've been warned. 

    Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.