2013 Holiday Collection: Chocolate Chip & Popcorn Cookie

Last Christmas my husband blessed me with several new cookbooks, including The Smitten Kitchen by Deb Perelman. Her cookie recipes are pretty straightforward, and not very exotic, but they are tasty. This recipe is an adaptation of her popcorn cookie. My version is more like a chocolate chip cookie with popcorn added.

Chocolate Chip & Popcorn Cookies
Makes about 24 cookies

2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup yellow or white popcorn kernels
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup bittersweet (60% cocoa) chocolate chips

Place oil in the bottom of a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat. When oil is hot, add popcorn kernels in a single layer across the bottom of the pan. Cover the pot but keep the lid ajar to let a bit of steam out. Listen to the popcorn as it pops. Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the burner once the popping has subsided. Remove any unpopped kernels. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with butter. Toss to coat. Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer with speed set to high, cream together butter and sugars, until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla for 1 to 2 minutes. Set mixer speed to low. Add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a spatula or large spoon to fold in the popcorn by hand. The popcorn will break down a little as it is folded in. Fold in chocolate chips, mixing until dispersed throughout the dough.

Using a #40 scoop, place cookies 2 inches apart on prepared sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until edges and tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.