During a recent visit to Harry and David while on vacation, my children were introduced to "Moose Munch." This is Harry and David's name for a yummy concoction of popcorn, nuts, chocolate and more. Rather than buy them a bag of "Moose Munch", I decided to try to copy it. The results of my endeavor are recorded here.
I started by making caramel popcorn. You can use plain microwave popcorn for your recipe, but I had fun making it the way I remember my Mother doing it: on the stove!
You need 1 to 2 gallons of prepared popcorn. Put the popcorn in a large bowl and set aside.
In a sauce pan combine 2 c. brown sugar, 1 c. butter and 1/2 c. corn or maple syrup.
Bring to a boil and allow to slow boil for 5 minutes without stirring.
After 5 minutes, remove from heat and add 1/2 t. baking soda, 1/2 t. salt, and 1 t. vanilla.
Pour this ooey-gooey brew over the popcorn and toss. Then, lay the coated popcorn on a greased cookie sheet (or the cooking world's greatest invention: The DeMarle Silpat).
Doesn't that ooey-gooey golden glow just make you salivate? Go start popping your popcorn now and you can have some of your own in about an hour!
Place in a 250 degree oven and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.
Set aside your caramel popcorn for now and compile the rest of your Moose Munch ingredients. You can really add in whatever you want here. I chose mini marshmallows, peanuts, and chocolate chips. I imagine that you can also use pieces of graham crackers, almonds, pecans, butterscotch chips, m&ms, and pretzels.
Spread half of the caramel popcorn in a single layer on waxed paper (or the cooking world's greatest invention: The DeMarle Silpat). Add the nuts, pretzels, and whatever else you prefer to the popcorn.
Melt chocolate coating (or almond bark or chocolate chips or any other thing your creative self wants to melt) and pour over the popcorn. My kiddos and I grouped the popcorn, nuts, etc. into clumps which I then coated with chocolate.
However, I think next time (and there WILL be a next time), I will just pour the chocolate over the entire layer.
After the chocolate coating hardens, break it apart in to bite size pieces. Combine it with the other half of the caramel popcorn and store in large storage bags.
This very yummy and addictive snack is a big hit with the kiddos and would be great for class parties, fall festivals and more!
One other note: I think I've decided to leave out the mini marshmallows next time. After a couple of days of storage, they seem to make the other ingredients soft and stale. I like snacks like this on the crunchy side!