Go Behind the Scenes with Our “What’s Your Flavor” Contest Winner

On March 25th, 2014, our “What’s Your Flavor” contest winner, Rebecca, had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to turn her popcorn flavor dreams into a reality. Using her personal garden as inspiration, she came up with a unique, flavor-packed blend of ingredients for a truly savory popcorn concoction! Read about her experience at The Popcorn Factory’s headquarters, where she helped create her own batch of Sage Brown Butter Crunch, from unpopped kernel to culinary creation.

The Popcorn Factory Headquarters

How does one become inspired to take an ear of corn and transform basic kernels into wildly convivial and refined flavors? Leave it to the experts at The Popcorn Factory to conjure the taste of tradition. In huge copper cauldrons, popcorn explodes from a naked state into well-dressed buttery, sweet perfection. My kitchen is not as mystifying or sophisticated as The Popcorn Factory’s cooking kingdom, but my idea of cooking with creative flavor is just as innovative.

urban gardenThe Popcorn Factory soars beyond the cornfields and turns a crop full of corn, agriculture’s abundant ingredient, into a blank canvas. Popcornologists harness their magic like kitchen sorcerers; they make our mouths water and give us the popcorn our taste buds crave. The culinary inspiration for Sage Brown Butter Crunch came from my 19th floor balcony, my own urban backyard. To satisfy my own craving, a salty, sweet, spicy and herbal blend came to life.

For me, cooking is refining familiar flavors, like turning a simple snack food into a delicacy with fresh herbs and exotic spices. While watering plants, I plucked the only remaining herb from my garden that was still growing in abundance: the all mighty, fragrant Sage. Out of convenience I introduced the timeless popcorn-and-butter duo with its new best friends, another timeless duo, sage and brown butter.

What's Your Flavor Rebecca in the KitchenLayering flavors to stimulate all of the senses inside our mouths is what makes food appealing and exciting to eat. I figured popcorn with complex flavors, dedicated to artistic culinary appeal doesn’t have to be elite. We can all appreciate munching on good popcorn with a cold beer so why not have the perfect popcorn to go with a cocktail, wine- even Champagne? Ingredients like sage, brown butter, five spice, Turbinado sugar, and pecans make a perfect popcorn for pairing!

To me, it just made sense. I made popcorn inspired by the season and used whatever I had on hand – I got creative and it worked. Now, The Popcorn Factory is making it happen. Get ready for some awesome popcorn, Sage Brown Butter Crunch!

What's Your Flavor Behind the Scenes

Creative Ways to Use Caramel

Move over flour, there’s a new baking staple in town and it’s got an irresistibly sweet flavor few taste buds can resist! In honor of National Caramel Day on April 5, we’re celebrating all the creative ways to use caramel – from baking to decorating.

Creative Ways to use Caramel

Use as an edible adhesive. If you’re looking for an edible adhesive to take your recipes to the next level, look no further! Whether you’re looking to add fun toppings to decorate or add flavor, add a dab of caramel and press down to secure.

Use to decorate. A vase becomes a sweet centerpiece when you fill it with caramels and top with a flower! Similarly, put wrapped caramel candies in a decorative bowl for when guests come over to decorate end and coffee tables. Who knows when a caramel-loving guest will stop by and snack on these ooey gooey bites?!

Batch of Double Caramel Marshmallow PopcornUse it in recipes. Perhaps the most popular way to use this sticky ingredient, there are tons of mouth-watering recipes (like our double caramel marshmallow popcorn recipe) that utilize this sweet substance.

Infuse it with vodka. Chop up your caramels in fine pieces and throw in a glass mason jar or empty vodka bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with your favorite unflavored vodka and let sit until the caramels fully dissolve. Once fully dissolved, add a pinch of salt to really bring out that caramel flavor; now you have salted caramel vodka!

Use it to decorate drinks. Throw a few caramels into the microwave (in a bowl) and use the melted substance to rim your cocktail glasses – it’ll add both decoration and flavor!

Use it as a Coating. There’s a reason caramel apples are so popular; there’s simply delicious! Using caramel as a coating, we created caramel coated popcorn balls on a stick – you can customize them with your own toppings if you really want to get creative!

DIY Caramel Popcorn Balls

Use it to decorate foods. Use melted caramel and a toothpick to create beautiful caramel creations on food or serve ware. Melt only a little bit at a time so it doesn’t solidify before you’re finished with your masterpiece.

Use as a dip. Finally, serve melted caramel alongside apples, grapes, and your favorite desserts for a fondue-style dipping treat! You can even set up a dessert bar with a selection of toppings for a unique dining experience at home.

DIY Caramel Popcorn Balls

There’s nothing quite like a dessert on a stick to turn up the food fun. These delicious caramel popcorn balls are reminiscent of carnival-favorite candy apples, and can be decorated and customized to satisfy even the pickiest eaters.

DIY Caramel Popcorn Balls

Make these for a carnival inspired party or just as a special crunchy and sweet treat after dinner.

DIY Caramel Popcorn BallsSupplies for DIY Caramel Popcorn Balls

Popcorn Balls
Caramels
2 Tbsp milk
Wooden skewers
Wax Paper
Additional chocolates or candies for topping (optional)

Directions for DIY Caramel Popcorn Balls

Step 1: Melt the caramels; this can be safely done in the microwave or on the stovetop. While melting, add the milk to thin. Once fully melted, you’re ready to start dunking!

Step 2: Insert a wooden skewer into the popcorn ball. This can be done by finding an area with a small opening and slowly twisting in until secure. Lay out a piece of wax paper before moving on to the next step.

DIY Caramel Popcorn Balls

Step 3: Once your stick and ball are secure, dip into the caramel, making sure to dip all the way to where the stick meets the ball, as it will further secure the treat.

DIY Caramel Popcorn Balls

Step 4: After dipping, place your caramel popcorn balls on the wax paper to cool.

Step 5: Once fully cooled, remove the caramel popcorn balls from the wax paper and serve! You can top with melted chocolates or candies to really make this dessert festive!

DIY Caramel Popcorn Balls

What kind of toppings will you add to your DIY Caramel Popcorn Balls? Share with us in the comments section!

Sweet and Simple Buttercream Caramel Popcorn Cupcakes

Looking for the perfect sweet movie night snack? Look no further than these drool-worthy Buttercream Caramel Popcorn Cupcakes. These popcorn cupcakes are so sweet and simple to make, and the recipe can be customized to suit your taste buds.

All you need to make these easy popcorn cupcakes are your favorite flavor cake mix, some buttercream frosting, and caramel popcorn! Pair that with our printable popcorn cupcake wrappers, and you’ve got the perfect sweet treat for movie night, a circus themed party, or even just for a fun midweek snack!

Buttercream Caramel Popcorn Cupcakes

Supplies for Buttercream Caramel Popcorn Cupcakes
Your favorite flavor of cake mix
Buttercream frosting
Caramel Popcorn
Cupcake tin
Spatula
Printable popcorn cupcake wrappers

Directions for Buttercream Caramel Popcorn Cupcakes

Step 1: Prepare cake mix using directions on box. Pour batter into cupcake tin to create cupcake shape and pop into the oven.

Popcorn Cupcake Wrappers

Step 2: While the cupcakes are baking, download and print the printable popcorn cupcake wrappers. Cut out the liners and add glue or tape to the tabs to seal into the circular shape. Once you have all of the popcorn cupcake wrappers created, set aside.

Step 3: Once the cupcakes are baked and ready, let cool for 15-20 minutes. Once sufficiently cooled, use a spatula to spread the buttercream frosting on top. This will serve as a delicious adhesive for the popcorn.

Step 4: Once frosted, add the caramel popcorn! When you feel like you have enough popcorn on your cupcakes, simply slip into the popcorn cupcake wrappers and enjoy!

Buttercream Caramel Popcorn Cupcakes

Popcorn of the Month: Sour Green Apple

March’s popcorn of the month is lean, green, and (not so) mean Sour Green Apple! Crunchy and sweet with a sour kick, this festive popcorn flavor is packed with what we like to call “pucker power.”

The Popcorn Factory Sour Green Apple PopcornWhy did we choose this flavor as our favorite popcorn for March? Simple! Not only does the green-filled holiday St. Patrick’s Day fall during this month, but March 20th also happens to be the first day of spring – a day that’s equal parts sweet and sour just like the flavor. The excitement of the season of regrowth warms our hearts, while we can’t quite hold back the sadness of saying goodbye to the beauty of winter.

We’re celebrating by using this tangy treat to make festive (and edible) jewelry! And yes, we will definitely be sporting this DIY Idea on St. Patrick’s Day! To make this wearable St. Patrick’s Day craft, all you need is green popcorn, a needle, and some thread!

Supplies for DIY St. Patrick’s Day popcorn necklace:

Sour Green Apple Popcorn
Needle
Thread

How to Make a St. Patrick’s Day popcorn necklace:

DIY St. Patrick's Day Popcorn Necklace

First, clear your area as this project can surely get sticky! Once your area is clean, simply thread your needle, and stick it through the popcorn. Pull the thread all the way through.

DIY St. Patrick's Day Popcorn Necklace

Repeat this step until you are satisfied with your result! You can make necklaces, bracelets, rings, and even sweet popcorn belts. The possibilities are endless!

DIY Oscars Popcorn Box Printables

There’s no pairing more perfect and traditional than popcorn and a movie. Celebrate the biggest movie occasion of the year by hosting your own Oscars party!

Oscar Party Popcorn Box Printables

Whether you’re watching the Academy Awards for the red carpet fashions or to cheer on your favorite films and celebrities, stock up on your favorite popped snack and serve them up in these classy and chic Oscar party popcorn boxes! We’ve created these free printable inspired by stars that are sure to add a festive touch to any spread. Simply print, fold, and enjoy!

If you’re looking for more Oscar party decorating ideas, take a peek at our sophisticated popcorn bar post. Celebrations.com has the how-to for the Hollywood glamour inspired DIY Gold Paint Jars. A little bit of creativity mixed with LOTS of popcorn sure goes a long way!

Supplies for DIY Oscar Party Popcorn Boxes:

Downloadable Oscar party popcorn box template
Card stock
Glue or tape
Scissors

Directions for DIY Oscar Party Popcorn Boxes:

Oscar Party Popcorn Box Template

Load the printer with card stock. Download the popcorn box template and print.

Oscar Party Popcorn Box Printables

Cut the template out. Fold alongside black lines.

Oscar Party Popcorn Box Printables

Use tape or glue to secure the popcorn box shape. Make sure the bottom of your popcorn box resembles the photo above; this is the most secure way to fold the box.

Oscar Party Popcorn Box Printables

Add your favorite flavor of popcorn and present these beauties off!

Oscar Party Popcorn Box Printables

Upcycled Popcorn Tin: DIY Pet Bed and Scratcher

If you’re like us and can’t resist the flavor-packed crunch of popcorn, chances are you’re always looking for ways to reuse popcorn tins after you’ve finished munching on the main attraction. In honor of National Love Your Pet Day on February 20th, we’ve created this simple upcycled popcorn tin craft that turns your old snack tin into a new toy and hideaway for your favorite furry friend!

If you’re looking for more popcorn tin crafts, check out our easy DIY pet food storage container and let your creativity pop!

Upcycled Popcorn Tin: DIY Pet Bed

I purchased a large ball of twine from the local hardware store, and hardly made a dent in it with this project. Additionally, you may choose to use an old throw blanket to line the popcorn tin for a thrifty and inexpensive DIY idea!

Lay this “bed” on its side for easy cozying access! Get creative with how you customize your furry friend’s furniture. You can throw pillows inside, line it with catnip underneath, or attach toys to the top – the possibilities are endless!

Supplies for DIY Upcycled Popcorn Tin Pet Bed:

Large popcorn tin
Sisal Twine
Non-toxic liquid adhesive
Foam Brush
Furry fabric or old blanket – 1-2 yards

Directions for DIY Upcycled Popcorn Tin Pet Bed:

Step 1: Clean out popcorn tin. Once clean, dry fully.

Upcycled Popcorn Tin: DIY Pet Bed

Step 2: Starting from the bottom, use the foam brush to rub adhesive around large chunk of tin. Do not cover whole tin as adhesive will dry out before you are finished. Take twine and apply to adhesive, holding the first piece down for 15 seconds or so to seal. Continue wrapping tightly around.

Upcycled Popcorn Tin: DIY Pet Bed

Every few rows, push down the twine to tighten.

Upcycled Popcorn Tin: DIY Pet Bed

Apply more adhesive as necessary and continue until you have covered the whole outside. Set aside to dry.

Step 3: Take fabric and cut out necessary pieces. You will need three pieces for this project; two rectangles measuring at 18” X 16”, and one circle measuring at a 13” circumference.

Upcycled Popcorn Tin: DIY Pet Bed

To create the circle, you can also trace the bottom of the popcorn tin against the fabric using pencil or fabric marker.

Step 4: Once the twine is dry, use the foam brush to apply adhesive to the bottom of the tin. Lay the circle shaped fabric piece and hold for 15-20 seconds to secure.

Upcycled Popcorn Tin: DIY Pet Bed

Step 5: Now for the final step, apply a thick, evening coating of adhesive to the inside of the popcorn tin. Gently place one piece fabric (furry side out) against the adhesive. Apply the second piece of fabric to the remaining area and hold down to secure. Doesn’t that just look so cozy?!

upcycled-popcorn-tin-craft_diy-pet-bed_complete

Once secured, trim remaining fabric to your liking. We left some extra fabric to create a more refined look, but you can add more or less depending on how you want the final project to look.

Put it on its side, and now you have a fun and creative DIY pet bed and scratcher for your furry friend to sleep and play in! Your pets will love using their claws to scratch at the twine, and taking their afternoon nap in a warm, tight, and fuzzy space!

20 Ways to Enjoy Sriracha

I­­f you haven’t yet had the chance to try one of the hottest culinary crazes of the year, it’s time to take the plunge and let your mouth experience the flavor-packed journey that is Sriracha.

It comes as no shock that this hot sauce is getting the attention it deserves – with its savory, one-of-a-kind flavor, paired with an irresistible kick, this spicy treat goes good with almost anything!

To celebrate the release of the hottest member to join The Popcorn Factory family, we’re counting down our favorite ways to indulge in this must-try sauce!

20-ways-to-enjoy-sriracha-2

We give you.. 20 Ways to Enjoy Sriracha!

20. On Your Food. The simplest way to enjoy Sriracha? Grab the bottle and pour it onto your favorite main dish. It will instantly take your meal to the next level of flavor!

19. To make spicy ketchup. Would you rather dip than drench? Add a few drops of Sriracha to ketchup to make the ultimate dip with a kick.

18. To bake with. Srircha’s spice may be what put it on the map, but its growing popularity is definitely attributed to its savory flavor. Sriracha in the oven dulls down some of the spice, but really brings out the flavor of this hot sauce. So go ahead, add some to your cooking and baking for a mouth-watering dish!

17. For pickling. You can even use this versatile hot sauce in your pickling techniques! (Or just pair our pickle popcorn with our Sriracha popcorn, either way!).

16. As a dip. If you’re feeling bold, dump some of this fiery sauce into a bowl for dipping. Be careful not to put too much as you might have a flavor overload!

15. As a cocktail sauce. Turn ordinary cocktail sauce into an adventure for your taste buds by squeezing in a few drops of Sriracha – the perfect pairing for those fancy shrimp you’re serving!

14. To spice up your soup. Add Sriracha to soup before it starts to boil. Again, boiling this sauce may weaken some of the spice without dulling the flavor.

13. In salads. If you’re craving a spicy salad, top with a bit of this tangy hot sauce – the perfect addition to a colorful garden salad.

12. To make brine. Add a dash of Sriracha to your favorite brine recipe to really bring out that one-of-a-kind bold flavor.

11. To Make lollipops. Who says lollipops have to be sweet? Not us, and definitely not Sriracha! Turn your favorite hot sauce into a confection on a stick with just sugar, corn syrup, and the tastiest hot sauce we ever did eat!

10. As a cupcake topping. When we first saw Sriracha cupcake recipes popping up throughout the blogging community, we’ll admit there was a bit of skepticism. Unsurprisingly, the combination of spicy and sweet makes for an unexpected treat worth trying!

9. As a jam. The combination of spicy Sriracha and sweet, succulent fruit makes for one must-try treat that will really wow your taste buds.

20-ways-to-enjoy-sriracha-drawing

8. To decorate food. The easy-to-pour tip makes creating wow-worthy food art a snap! Write edible messages or decorate your foods with a few simple steps.

7. As a marinade. Add a few drops of this spicy sauce to your favorite marinade recipe to give it that extra kick taste buds will go wild for!

6. For your wings. Buffalo may be your go-to sauce when you’re looking for wings with a  kick, but opt for Sriracha next time you’re making your favorite finger food for a unique, flavor-packed twist.

5. To make spicy cream cheese. Whether using cream cheese to dip or spread, take it above and beyond by adding some Sriracha and whipping to blend. The cream cheese flavor will act as a base for the hot sauce, eliminating some of the spice while bringing out the flavor.

4. For spicy loaded nachos. Nachos loaded with meats and cheeses are the ultimate macho snack for any event. Add a Sriracha kick by infusing that sour cream you’re serving with a few drops of rooster sauce.

3. In your cocktails. Mix up your happy hour with a satisfyingly spicy sip with the help of your favorite rooster sauce!

2. To butter you up. Adding Sriracha to your softened butter is a must-try. Spread on bread, moisten your corn, and even apply to your cooking sheet for a spicy solution!

And the #1 way to enjoy Sriracha is…..

The Popcorn Factory Sriracha Popcorn1. On Popcorn! The irresistible crunch of our savory popcorn paired with the mouth-watering flavor of Sriracha – a pairing sure to go down in flavor history!

d

Super Bowl Popcorn Box Printables

There’s so many reasons to be excited for the Super Bowl this year (not just the 60 foot tall toboggan being built in its honor). This year’s rivals, the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos are headed to the Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey to compete for football fame.

Whether you’re lucky enough to partake in the football festivities or just enjoying the show from the comfort of your couch, you’re going to need snacks – lots of them. While the modern celebration calls for big screen TVs and overly fancy football shaped foods, there’s no denying the classic crunch and flavor of your favorite popcorn flavor, so this year, serve up a no-fail snack that will satisfy even the pickiest of taste buds.

DIY Super Bowl Popcorn Boxes

Our team-themed popcorn tins are not only festive, but each comes with 3 gallons of our most popular flavors so you can keep your guests hunger at bay as you root for your favorites.

DIY Super Bowl Popcorn Boxes

We’ve created these DIY Popcorn box templates so you can celebrate your favorite teams while indulging in your favorite popped snack. If you’re hosting a party where guests of both teams will be attending, set up a “rival” station, with the opposing teams tins and boxes on each side. Or, if your guests are all on the same page, stick with the colors and mascots of each team when choosing elements for your décor.

Supplies for DIY Super Bowl Popcorn Boxes:

Cardstock
Popcorn box template (click here for Seattle Seahawks and here for Denver Broncos)
Glue or Tape
Scissors

Directions for DIY Popcorn Boxes

Step 1: Insert cardstock into the printer.

seahawks-template broncos-template

Step 2: Download the popcorn box templates. Open and print them onto the cardstock.

popcorn-scoop-boxes

Step 3: Using the scissors, cut out the templates. Once cut out, fold along each of the lines on the template.

Step 4: Create popcorn box and shape and apply glue to the flaps.

DIY Super Bowl Popcorn Box Printables

Step 5: Fill them up with your favorite flavor popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the game!

Poppin’ Activities to Celebrate National Popcorn Day

January 19 is National Popcorn Day! Celebrate your favorite snack food by adding some poppin’ activities to your day. Here are some fun and flavor-packed ways to celebrate this delicious holiday:

Host a Popcorn and Wine Tasting Party

Wine and cheese may be your go-to for a sophisticated soiree, but why not put a fun twist on this tradition and host a popcorn and wine tasting party?! You can still serve your favorite cheesy flavors, or get a little risqué with your palate and opt for flavors like savory Double Cheese or decadent Drizzled Butter Toffee. Dress up your celebration by presenting your treats and cocktails in a creative way.

Popcorn Bar

Host a Movie Night at Home

Invite the neighbors over and pop in your favorite film for a relaxing yet fun celebration. Serve up a tub of buttery goodness and enjoy a low-key evening while munching on the ultimate movie watcher grub.

Make your own popcorn party mix or set out a variety of flavors. Turn it into an activity by having guests “blindly” taste the flavors and vote on the ones they like most and least. You can even send guests home with a tasty party favor by filling a cellophane bag with popcorn and wrapping it with red ribbon. Take your movie watching party to the next level with more ideas at Celebrations.com!

Pop in With Some Crafting Fun

This year’s National Popcorn Day falls on a Sunday, which is a good excuse as any to make it a lazy day filled with snacks and crafts! Get the whole family involved and turn it into a family fun night – just make sure you don’t eat all the supplies first!

Popcorn Flower Arrangement

The possibilities are endless with popcorn crafts. You can make something as simple as a tasty necklace, or as pretty as these blooming popcorn flowers.

Or, to cut out the prep work, set up a crafting area and pick up a ready-to-go decorating kit and simply watch the magic happen! Be sure to cover your area with plenty of newspaper for less mess and easy cleanup.

H12_S3580_GROUP_WHP_Z

How will you celebrate National Popcorn Day? Tell us in the comments!