In this Gingerbread Popcorn recipe, sweet crunchy homemade caramel popcorn gets a festive twist with gingerbread spices and brown sugar!
So, I have a funny story for you.
In general it’s pretty hard to ruffle my feathers, which is 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”. 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 and cold with me. This continued for some time, until one night when she reached the pinnacle of her brazenness.
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, Mike told me that she had the nerve to ask him out. And then 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. 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 then, I didn’t see her again for a very long time. That is, 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 my mom 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.
Inspiration for This Gingerbread Popcorn Recipe
So, about this Gingerbread 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 (or something similar, like Dutch Speculaas). They are crisp, deliciously warm-spiced cookies with almonds.
These wonderful cookies used to be sold in the bulk bin at my local 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 those cookies. 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 popcorn is perfect.
The Best Gingerbread Popcorn Recipe
Here’s what you’re going to love about this recipe:
- Festive flavor. Butter, brown sugar, molasses, and warm spices give it the perfect amount of gingerbread flavor.
- Nutty crunch. Just like in my favorite Dutch Speculaas Cookies, almonds add a deliciously nutty flavor and crunch factor here.
- Easy to make. Unlike cookies, homemade popcorn is much quicker and easier to make! It’s the perfect snack for your next holiday-themed movie night.
How to Store Homemade Gingerbread Popcorn
Store this popcorn in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. And if it gets stale, there’s an easy fix! Simply spread it out on a large baking tray and warm it in an oven preheated to 200F for 10 to 15 minutes.
Variations on This Recipe
- Play with the spices. Feel free to use more or less of the spices listed. Additionally, you can use other spices that you like as well! This is a good way to truly make this recipe your own.
- Go nuts. If almonds aren’t your thing or if you just like another type of nuts more, by all means, go with what you like.
More Homemade Popcorn Recipes to Try
Did you make this recipe? Please rate it and leave a comment below because I love hearing from you! You can also tag @anediblemosaic on social media. To stay up-to-date FOLLOW ME on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Xoxo, Faith
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup popcorn kernels
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar lightly packed
- 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup sliced almonds toasted
To Make the Stovetop-Popped Popcorn:
- Add the oil and popcorn kernels to a 5-quart pot over medium heat.
- Cover the pot and cook, shaking frequently, until the kernels are popped.
- Remove the pot from the heat when you don’t hear any more pops after 3 seconds.
To Make the Gingerbread Caramel and Gingerbread Popcorn:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Let the popcorn cool and then break it apart; store in an airtight container at room temperature.
- If Making This on a Hot and/or Humid Day: If it’s a hot and/or humid day and the Gingerbread Popcorn is too sticky, you can dry it out in the oven. To do so, leave the popcorn on the baking sheet and bake it in a 200F oven for 20 to 30 minutes, tossing it every 10 minutes.
- Store Gingerbread Popcorn in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
- If the popcorn gets stale, spread it out on a large baking tray and warm it in an oven preheated to 200F for 10 to 15 minutes.
This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on December 20, 2011. I updated it with more information on December 16, 2021.
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links to products I believe in, which means that even though it doesn’t cost you anything extra, I will receive a small amount of money from the sale of these items. Thank you for helping to support An Edible Mosaic!
Beth Hayes says
I’m writing a blog post for tomorrow (Oct. 31) and hope to include your Gingerbread Popcorn in a round up of popcorn recipes. May I have your permission to link to this blog post and to use its title photo? Thanks for your time.
Yes, please feel free to use my photo in your round-up, and thank you very much for crediting me with a link to the recipe on my site. I really appreciate you asking first, thanks again!
Beth Hayes says
Thank you. I appreciate it.
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?
Thanks so much for reaching out and for your kind words! I just sent you an email replying to your inquiry.
there are some bold ladies out there, that’s for sure. thanks for sharing that story, faith, and this terrific popcorn idea!
Magic of Spice says
Ha, she was busted! What a story, cousins…oh sure!
Anyway this popcorn, what a flavor, love it and so pretty!
This popcorn looks so addictive! I’m obsessed with gingerbread this holiday season, so I’ll be trying this soon!
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 :-)
That story is a total crack up. What a small world!
[email protected] 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.
Steve @ HPD says
for my money, can’t do too much ginger and cinnamon this time o’ the year. cheers!
Angie's Recipes says
gosh..that gal…unbelievable…she has nerves!
Popcorns look great!
Shrazzi @ Getting Fresh in the Kitchen says
What?! That is the best looking popcorn ever!!
Carolyn Jung 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
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!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella 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
Alyssa (Everyday Maven) says
That is insane that your family knows her family like that! lol The popcorn looks amazing and I totally want to come over and raid your serving bowls / plates!!
Heidi @ Food Doodles 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
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!
natalie (the sweets life) says
this sounds absolutely incredible!popcorn is one of my favorite snacks :)
What a story! LOL Pretty bold girl for sure. The popcorn sounds fantastic, Faith!
Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living says
I need this in my life… like, now! Lately I’ve been pretty obsessed with all things gingerbread, and have also been harboring an addiction to kettle corn. Two cravings satisfied with one recipe? Awesome.
Now this is a treat I can really feast on ;)
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.
Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year as well, Claudia! XO
Nicole, RD 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! ;)
Oh, I bet that popcorn is addictive!
Amy (Savory Moments) says
That’s a great story! I’m going to guess that you are talking about Wegmans\’ subs?? I love this popcorn – full of festive flavors!
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!