Gingerbread Popcorn

Share on Pinterest
Share with your friends


Gingerbread Popcorn

I have a funny story for you.

In general it’s pretty hard to ruffle my feathers, a trait Mike says I get from my dad. But there are situations that take their toll on my patience…like when the girl who works at the sub shop at my favorite local grocery store repeatedly hits on my husband. In front of me. 

Let me explain…

My local grocery store makes the best subs ever. They call them “old-fashioned” and I can’t for the life of me figure out what makes them old-fashioned, but they are fantastic. And I am a sucker for a good turkey and Swiss cheese sub, especially when it’s offered on an “everything” roll (yup, that’s like an everything bagel).

A couple years ago, this girl (who we’ll call “S”) started working there who apparently had a “thing” for Mike. Long story short, she was always sweet and flirty with him and curt/cold with me. This continued on for some time, until one night when she reached the pinnacle of her brazenness…

Gingerbread Popcorn 2

Mike and I were there for dinner; he was waiting in line for a sub and I was over looking at the soups available that day. After we left the store, he told me that she had had the nerve to ask him out. Mike told her that he was married – and I was his wife! You won’t believe what she said… I thought she was your cousin. Oh wow. Mike and I aren’t into public displays of affection, but he usually walks around the store with his arm around my waist or my shoulders, not to mention the fact that we both wear wedding rings. Plus we don’t look a thing alike (Mike has olive skin and dark hair and I have fair skin and dirty blonde hair). And she’d seen us there together countless times (does anyone really spend as much time with a cousin as they do with a spouse?). Bottom line, I am hard-pressed to believe she actually thought Mike and I were cousins.

Since that night, I didn’t see her again for a very long time, until one day when I was at the sub shop with my mom and sister. When it was our turn to order, my mom (who didn’t know the story of the sub girl’s unwaning love for my husband) said, Oh, hi S—! How’s your mom, honey? What a twisted situation.

I had no idea that my mom knew her…actually, as it turns out, I knew her too. My parents have known her uncle and parents since before I was born, and she’s actually been to my parents’ house for dinner before (granted, it was 15 years ago and there’s no way she and I would have recognized each other now). Later I told my mom what S had done and with a shocked/horrified expression on her face she exclaimed, I wonder what her mother would say about that! Ha! Me too, Mom.

Funnily enough, Mike and I went shopping late last night and she was our cashier! And she was sweet as pie. Even to me, lol.

I guess the moral of the story is don’t hit on married men! You never know if their wives know your mother. ;)

Gingerbread Popcorn 3

So, about this popcorn. One of the reasons for our late-night trip to the store last night was that I was in the mood for what we call Dutch Windmill Cookies (they’re really called Speculaas or Speculoos ;) ), which are crisp, deliciously warm-spiced cookies with almonds. These wonderful cookies used to be sold in the bulk bin at my grocery store, but alas, they were nowhere to be found when we went. We didn’t leave the store empty-handed, but we didn’t get anything close to these cookies either. I really wasn’t in the mood for baking cookies, but I was still in the mood for them…and then I had an idea.

I remembered my Butter Toffee Popcorn and started thinking about how to turn it into something that tasted like those spicy cookies. Molasses, warm spices, and toasted slivered almonds worked out quite nicely! And bonus, if you’re looking for an easy homemade holiday gift to make for co-workers/neighbors, this would be perfect.

Gingerbread Popcorn 4

Gingerbread Popcorn
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: About 12 servings
  • 12 cups air-popped popcorn (slightly heaping ½ cup of popcorn kernels)
  • 1 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • 8 tablespoons (115 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (210 g) light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Toss together the popcorn and almonds in a large bowl; set aside. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat liner; set aside. Sift together the baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Cook the butter, sugar, molasses, water, and salt in a medium-sized, thick-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until the temperature reaches 305F (hard crack stage), stirring occasionally. Carefully stir in the vanilla and baking soda/spice mix.
  3. Pour the toffee over the popcorn and use two heat-safe rubber spatulas to toss the popcorn around to distribute the toffee throughout. Spread the popcorn out onto the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Let the popcorn cool and then break it apart; store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Making This on a Hot and/or Humid Day: If it’s a hot and/or humid day and the butterbeer popcorn is too sticky, you can dry it out in the oven. To do so, leave the butterbeer popcorn on the baking sheet and bake it in a 200F oven for 20 to 30 minutes, tossing it every 10 minutes.

Share on Pinterest
Share with your friends



  1. says

    That is SO ridiculous! She totally knew he was NOT your cousin. What a nut ;). Hilarious that you ended up knowing her! This popcorn sounds ridiculous good. I saw the title of the post and couldn’t click on it fast enough. If this isn’t the perfect foodie Christmas gift, I don’t know what is!

  2. says

    Oh wow…now that is what my holidays have been lacking! I was just telling Mark last night that we have no “real” food in the house because of traveling and I had popcorn for lunch yesterday. Sadly, it wasn’t THIS popcorn! ;)

  3. says

    Now this is a treat I can really feast on ;)

    Dear Faith,
    Just briefly passing by to wish you and your loved ones the finest of Holiday seasons.
    I’m very much looking forward to hopefully soon joining my Foodies again ;o) Until then, all the very best towards a desirable New Year.

    Flavourful wishes,

  4. says

    That’s quite a story! You handled it way better than I would have but good thing you did since you discovered who she really was! I bet that popcorn is fabulous!

  5. says

    Haha, I honestly laughed out loud at your story. How ridiculous. So hilarious that you actually sort of knew each other! Your popcorn looks delicious(and really pretty too). I made caramel corn for the first time in October and since then I’ve been super excited to try anything even remotely similar. This looks perfect for the season :D

  6. says

    OMG Faith! Long lost twins we are. I have a neighbour who is in love with Mr NQN. She is super sweet to him but when I am alone she snarls at me. It’s really quite comical! What is with these people? Although I think she would be hard pressed to think that we were related :P

  7. says

    The popcorn looks amazing!
    I can’t believe the nerve of that girl—people really amaze me sometimes. If she thought you were cousins, why did she wait for the time when you were not standing with Mike to ask!?

    Hopefully she got a little nervous when she realized who you were…maybe she’ll think twice next time she wants to try and be a husband stealer!

  8. says

    That is a hilarious story! It is pretty funny that she didn’t see his wedding ring or didn’t think to look for one. What’s up with that? That’s like the first thing you check for. LOL

  9. says

    What a cheek ! (as we say here in Scotland) Good for you for not giving her a piece of your mind though. Best let her feel humiliated on her own with that one. Very unsisterly. But your recipe is divine. I can practically smell it from here. If I was taking the photos there wouldn’t have been much left to work with.

  10. says

    So funny your story at the grocery…but the pops are far from funny, look delicious, full of flavor, what an anytime to munch popcorns.
    Hope you are having a wonderful week Faith :-)

  11. says

    Dear Faith,

    My name is Kate Knapp, and I work for Eat Boutique–an online shop dedicated to discovering the best small batch foods, as well producing a brilliant food blog.

    We absolutely adore your blog! We’re in the process of writing a round-up of our favorite gingerbread blogs, and we think this post is the perfect fit. We would love to include it, if that’s alright with you. We would, of course, link back to your site. All we need from you is the original photos (without text) from your gingerbread post.

    If you’re interested (and we do so hope you are), can you please email me by Monday, November 25?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Rate this recipe: