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  • Dawn Hames

Caramel Popcorn And Sugar Cookies

It's full-on winter outside, with the holidays just around the corner. Holiday entertaining is always more fun with some handy special snacks that are easy to make, and make you shine brighter than the star on top of your Christmas tree. Caramel popcorn is one of those special treats that are perfect for the Christmas season. When you use an air popper to pop the popcorn you start off with the healthiest version. Whether it’s a bunch of friends coming over, or family for holiday celebrations, a large batch of Caramel Popcorn is sure to be a big hit. Popcorn is considered an unprocessed whole grain and it contains 3 grams of beneficial fiber per cup. Popcorn also contains various nutrients such as B vitamins, magnesium, and as much iron as spinach by weight. The hulls of popcorn contain polyphenols which are antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and block certain enzymes that cancer needs to grow. Plain popcorn with a drizzle of butter and a dash of salt is a healthy snack and does not have the health concerns of microwave packets of popcorn. Both of these recipes are gluten-free.

CARAMEL POPCORN (gluten-free)

1 cup butter

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

18 cups popped popcorn

Cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, and spread out the popcorn. In a heavy-bottomed pot, combine butter, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and vanilla. Bring to a boil and boil gently, stirring for 4 minutes. Add the baking soda, and boil, stirring for 1 more minute, it will foam up. Pour the caramel sauce over the popcorn, and stir to distribute it.

SUGAR COOKIES (gluten-free)

1/2 cup butter – room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

1 egg yolk

1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3 tablespoons milk or cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cream the butter and sugar. beat in the egg yolk, vanilla, and cream. Beat in the flour, with the baking powder. If the dough is very soft, then put it in the refrigerator to chill before rolling. To roll, be sure to flour both sides of the cookie dough to prevent it from sticking. Roll to a thickness of 1/4 “. Cut with your cookie cutters, place on a butter baking sheet. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, depending on your oven. The bottom of the cookie should just be turning golden brown.

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