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5 Fabulous Popcorn Recipes For An Oscars Party

The Academy Awards might be boring, but your snack situation won’t be. posted on

The only thing we can predict with 100% certainty about the Oscars ceremony on Sunday is that it will be boring. The Oscars have been boring every year, without fail, since that dusty, bygone era when moving pictures didn’t make noise and Anne Hathaway was still (almost) likable.

But people continue to throw Oscars-watching parties anyway, and those parties continue to involve popcorn (The Official Snack of The Movies™), and you know what DOESN’T have to be boring? The popcorn.

Read on for all the recipes you need to build a party popcorn bar worthy of the stars, a popcorn bar that will provide all the drama and glamour lacking in the awards broadcast itself. Let your popcorn BE the party.

THE MENU

Clockwise from top left:

1 - Sriracha, Lime, and Sesame Popcorn
2 - Rosemary, Brown Butter, and Lemon Popcorn
3 - S’mores Popcorn
4 - Maple-Bacon Popcorn
5 - Parmesan-Garlic Popcorn

A FEW TIPS:

These recipe all start with a measured amount of popped popcorn, and it can be popped however your heart desires: in an air-popper, on the stovetop (here are directions for how to do that, if you never have), or in the microwave. If you use microwave popcorn, use one bag per recipe, and look for the plainest kind you can find (ideally with no butter or salt added).

These five flavors of popcorn all use a simple melted butter sauce, and four out of five — all except the maple-bacon popcorn — can be made entirely in the microwave. How about THAT for modern convenience?

OK, PARTY ON!

THE RECIPES

1. Sriracha, Lime, and Sesame Popcorn

INGREDIENTS
10 cups popped popcorn (or one 3-oz. bag plain microwave popcorn, popped)
3 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. Sriracha
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. finely grated lime zest
Salt to taste

PREPARATION

Put popcorn in a large mixing bowl.

Heat butter and Sriracha in a small saucepan over medium heat or in a microwave-safe bowl until butter melts, and whisk to emulsify the sauce.

Remove from heat and stir in sesame oil, sesame seeds, and lime zest. Drizzle over popcorn and mix until evenly combined. Sprinkle with salt to taste.

When you whisk it, the sauce will turn a pretty orange color.

2. Rosemary, Brown Butter, and Lemon Popcorn

INGREDIENTS
10 cups popped popcorn (or one 3-oz. bag plain microwave popcorn, popped)
4 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary (1 Tbsp. finely minced, 1 Tbsp. whole leaves)
1 Tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
Salt to taste

PREPARATION

Put popcorn in large mixing bowl.

How to brown butter: Heat butter over medium-low heat or in the microwave until it melts, turns golden-brown and starts to smell nutty. Swirl the pan or bowl frequently so it heats evenly and doesn’t burn. Stop when the foam subsides.

Remove butter from heat and add rosemary and lemon zest; let sit for a few seconds. Drizzle butter over popcorn and mix until evenly distributed. Sprinkle with salt to taste.

After the foam settles, you’ll be able to see the bits of milk solids in the butter browning. Take it off the heat while it’s still light golden-brown, or it might burn.

Kosher salt is flakier than regular table salt and sticks to the popcorn better.

3. S’mores Popcorn

INGREDIENTS
10 cups popped popcorn (or one 3-oz. bag plain microwave popcorn, popped)
4 Tbsp. butter
One 10-oz. bag mini marshmallows, divided
1 sleeve graham crackers (9 crackers)
½ cup mini chocolate chips
Salt to taste

PREPARATION

Break graham crackers into small pieces and toss with popcorn in a large mixing bowl.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add ½ bag marshmallows and stir until the marshmallows melt and the mixture is smooth and shiny.

Drizzle marshmallow goo evenly over the popcorn in the bowl and toss to mix (use an oiled metal spoon to keep it from sticking).

Once the popcorn and cracker pieces are coated, add the rest of the mini marshmallows and chocolate chips and mix everything together. Sprinkle with salt to taste (don’t be shy).

The popcorn will be sticky and form clumps, but you can break these up a little bit after it cools. Also, s’mores clumps are delicious.

4. Maple-Bacon Popcorn

INGREDIENTS
10 cups popped popcorn (or one 3-oz. bag plain microwave popcorn, popped)
8-10 slices bacon
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste

PREPARATION

Put popcorn in a large mixing bowl.

Spread bacon on a wire rack set in a sheet pan and bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until crispy. Let cool. Crumble or slice bacon into small pieces.

Collect 1 Tbsp. bacon drippings from pan and heat in a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl with butter and maple syrup until butter melts.

Mix bacon bits into sauce and drizzle over popcorn. Sprinkle with pepper and salt to taste and toss to coat evenly.

This is the least fussy, least splattery way to cook bacon, and it makes collecting the fat from the pan easy.

5. Parmesan & Garlic Popcorn

INGREDIENTS
10 cups popped popcorn (or one 3-oz. bag plain microwave popcorn, popped)
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste

PREPARATION

Put popcorn in a large mixing bowl.

Heat butter and olive oil in a small saucepan until butter is melted.

Drizzle butter over popcorn and toss to mix. Sprinkle cheese, garlic powder, and pepper over and toss again. Taste for seasoning and add salt until you’re happy.

THE SETUP

You can get matching bowls, scoops, and cute little cardboard popcorn containers at a party supply store. Cake stands, if you have them, are an excellent way to add vertical drama to the occasion.

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