Saturday, March 30, 2013

Cooking with Kids: Salted Caramel Bunny Bait

Yesterday was my mom's group Spring Fling.  We gathered together, shared food, and let our kids go wild in a park.  Oh and there was an Easter egg hunt.  Somehow I missed it though because I was watching babies...plural...more then one.  Only one was mine.  But it's O.K.  My kids are spaced 5 years a part.  This makes things easy for me at playdates because my older kids are capable of enjoying the park on their own.  But many of my friends aren't as lucky; their kids are 3, 2 or less years apart.  Talk about a challenge!  My son is enough of a challenge, I couldn't imagine him being 2 while caring for the baby as well.  I'd be crazier then I am now.  I don't know how my friends do it.  A lot of drinking maybe....  

With that being said, sometimes my son wants to help me in the kitchen.  Yesterday was one of those days.  I had to make a dish to take to the Spring Fling so after some research I'd decided on Salted Caramel Easter Popcorn (or Bunny Bait).  You can find the recipe at two peas & their pod.  There was plenty my son could help me do.  

We needed some crunched-up, salted pretzels.  I dumped a bunch of pretzel sticks in a Ziploc bag, gave my boy a meat tenderizer, and let him go at it.  He was quite proud of his job.  
My son loves marshmallows.  He was excited to measure the amount we needed and stir them into the hot sugar mixture.  He also liked adding the food coloring.  
And what kid could resist adding the M&M's to the mix?  A taste test is extremely important.  

Some tips:
  • Use white mini marshmallows for melting in the recipe.  I had pastel colored and well, when they melt together, they turn brownish.  Then we added some pink food coloring which of course, made it worse.  Then we added some purple, which turned the whole mess puce.  So if you don't want vomit colored popcorn, I'd go with white marshmallows.  
  • If the marshmallows don't melt right away, place the pot back on the stove and stir constantly until hot.  Depending on the brand of marshmallows they won't become creamy until you begin stirring the mixture into the popcorn.  
  • If you can't tell, I'm a little marshmallow crazy, but you can add the colored ones along with the pretzel M&M's.  At that point it adds more Easter color.  
  • I forgot to get heavy cream.  Coconut milk works too!  
  • My mixture was pretty sticky.  I don't know if that's normal or if it's because I didn't lay it out on a cookie sheet to set.  I stuck it in the fridge to cool instead (I wait until the last minute to make things; it's so bad!).  It still tasted great! In fact more moms ate this stuff then kids.   
  • Place the popcorn out on Easter Eve as bunny bait.  Just a little something to add to the magic.   
  • This is how we popped our popcorn, give it a try:

I'm sorry, I really wanted to post the recipe here (citing the source of course) but I believe in giving credit where credit is due.  They other blogger deserves the traffic too!  

What are you making special for Easter?  Share in the comments below.  

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