One of these things is not like the other…
And please stop looking at me that way.
Last week while in Carmel, I was literally surrounded by lavender. Carmel Valley Ranch has a ton of beautiful lavender right up in your face, and it graced menus and plates and vases and everything in my eye sight. So much so, that I turned to everyone around me and declared that I HAD to use it in a recipe, and that I was going to make lavender vanilla popcorn! Popcorn is a cop out recipe, right? But it’s an awesome copout.
And this is the thing: I cannot stand anything floral-y. The minute I think floral, I immediately think achoo! And sneeze ten thousand times. It’s really hot. Super sexy.
So I’ve stayed away from lavender ’til now. But there’s no reason here. It doesn’t taste like you’re eating flowers and dirt. Instead it tastes sweet and salty and wonderful and like I want to cram five handfuls in my mouth at once.
Especially when you add sparkling sugar to the mix as well. Gah. Sprinkles are my liiiife.
Don’t be scared.
Yield: serves 2-3
2 1/2 tablespoons dried lavender (make sure its food grade!)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1-2 tablespoons milk
8 ounces high-quality white chocolate, melted
colored sugar for sprinkling
A few hours (or at least 30 minutes) before popping, pour olive oil in a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of lavender, allowing it to sit at least 30 minutes. Remove lavender with a slotted spoon, then heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add oil. Once hot, add in a few kernels, and as soon as they pop, add in the rest, covering the pot. Slightly shake the pot and reduce heat to medium, shaking the pot every few seconds until all of the popcorn pops.
In a bowl, whisk together sugar, vanilla bean paste, 1 tablespoon of milk and 1/2 tablespoon lavender. If the glaze is too thick, add more milk a few drops at a time. If it is too thin, add in more sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.
Drizzle popcorn with lavender vanilla glaze, then melted white chocolate, and immediately sprinkle with remaining lavender. Spread on a baking sheet in clusters and pieces, allowing to sit for 15 minutes or so until the chocolate and glaze firm to room temperature. Eat!
Alright I’m done putting flowers in your food. Swear.