• erin

    Dumplings with my family
    A recent graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, I found myself with no money, no kitchen equipment, and an exceptionally huge appetite. Ideas, improvisations, and yummy meal solutions were discovered in the kitchen of my very first apartment.
  • what sounds good?

    I've been getting a lot of requests and suggestions for the apartment kitchen. I LOVE these suggestions, keep them coming!

    If you have anything you'd like me to consider (recipes to develop, shortcuts for recipes, great ingredients, or even blog formatting), shoot me an email and let me know!

    em570039@mycia.net

  • equipment spotlight

  • ingredient spotlight

  • this month’s packed lunch

  • hungry for more?

    Check out my food journeys at An Appetite for Adventure!
  • webmaster: chris hurte
  • author portrait: matt needham
  • © erin mcdowell and the apartment kitchen, 2009-10. all photography and content, unless otherwise indicated, is property of the author. unauthorized reproduction or use is prohibited. please ask before using.
  • Add to Technorati Favorites
  • Recipe Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
  • Twitter Updates

    • become my fan on facebook!

      Just click HERE

    Moose Munch

    Over the Christmas holidays, my brother’s girlfriend introduced me to a delicious product called Moose Munch. Depending on the variety, it is a chocolatey, caramely, popcorny treat made by Harry and David. I offered to try to recreate it for her. I finally cracked down this weekend and did it. I was able to make a huge batch for a lot less money than they charge at Harry and David, and I learned a lot in the process. The best thing is, it’s a great treat to send to people in a care package – it travels well. Also, it gets better after a day or two as the flavors meld, so it’s easy to make in advance!



    Moose Munch


    Made a lot – scale down as necessary.
    Leftover Potential: Keeps very well at room temperature stored in an airtight container.

    5 bags plain popcorn, popped
    3 -4 cups cashews, toasted
    2 cups peanuts, toasted
    3/4 cup unsweetened coconut, toasted

    2 1/2 cups sugar
    1/2 cup water, or more as necessary
    3 Tbsp butter
    1/4 cup milk or cream

    3 (11 oz) bags bittersweet chocolate, melted
    3-4 Tbsp oil

    1. Toss the popcorn, nuts, and coconut together to combine. Line a large space of countertop with parchment paper, wax paper, or aluminum foil. Spray lightly with pan spray. Spread the popcorn mixture out on the counter.
    2. Place the sugar in a large pot. Add the water and mix to combine. It should feel like wet sand. Add more water as necessary to achieve that sand-like effect. Begin to cook over medium high heat. Stir the caramel until it begins to boil, then allow it to boil undisturbed. (Wash the sides of the pot down as necessary if sugar begins to accumulate on the sides.  I use water on a pastry brush to keep the sides of the pot clean.)
    3. Cook the caramel to the desired color. Remember to remove the caramel from the heat as it’s reaching the finished color, as it will continue to cook for a few moments.  For more information on cooking caramel, check out: this video.***
    4. When the caramel has finished cooking, add the butter and stir to combine. Then add the milk or cream and stir to combine. Pour the finished caramel on top of the popcorn mixture. Allow to cool completely. Break it up slightly, removing any large pieces of caramel or uncoated pieces.
    5. Mix the melted chocolate with the oil. Then pour it over the cooled caramel-coated popcorn mixture. Toss lightly to coat completely. Allow to cool until the chocolate has set. Break up the finished Moose Munch up if necessary. Store in an airtight container.

    ***If crystals form on the sides of the pot, this will prevent the caramel from cooking properly, which is why it’s important to wash down the sides of the pot.  It’s also important NOT to stir the caramel after it boils: agitating it too much will make it crystallize, which will also prevent the desired result.

     

    If you prefer, use a candy thermometer to determine the right color for your caramel.  The sugar will be caramelized anywhere between 320-350 degrees Farenheit.  The closer to 320, the lighter in flavor it will be.  Closer to 350, the flavor will be more bitter.


    Advertisements

    4 Responses

    1. Two questions:
      1. What does “Wash the sides of the pot down as necessary” mean? Water? Scrape the sugar down?
      2. In step 3, what is the desired/finished color supposed to look like?

      Thanks!

    2. I secretly hope this is why you need my address.

    3. so… YUM YUM YUM we just got our package and i have good and bad news. the good news first… AMAZING! they were a perfect sweet snack. i thought you did a great job balancing the flavors so that it didn’t seem “too popcorny” or “too chocolatety”…

      bad news is i swear some bastard at the post office opened the box because two of the bags were split down the side (which is BS because you packed them well) so there was moosemuch all over the inside of the box. i had a great time “cleaning up”. also.. the tape was suspiciously loose so i’m convinced the package was opened and munched on by the post office elves. grrrrr

    4. […] cooking due to residual heat). For more information on caramel, please reference my post about Moose Munch. 4. Remove the finished caramel from the heat and add the cream. The mixture will bubble and steam […]

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s

    %d bloggers like this: