When doing my research for our Disneyland trip 2 years ago, it was hard not to become completely sidetracked by the pictures and reviews of all the amazing foods Disney has to offer in their parks. There are blogs dedicated solely to sharing the world of Disney eats and one could easily spend a large portion of their time in the parks hunting down and enjoying a variety of sweet and savoury treats plus fine dining meals.
My husband does not like planning our meals out ahead of time or being tied to dining reservations, but there were some popular items I knew I wanted to make an effort to find and try during our time in the parks. My Disneyland Eats Bucket List included:
- Dole Whip
- The Mickey Ice Cream Bar or Ice Cream Sandwich
- Blue Bayou Monte Cristo
- Hand Dipped Corn Dogs
- The Kitchen Sink ice cream sundae
- Mickey Cream Cheese Soft Pretzel
- Mint Julep
In the spirit of Re-living The Magic this year, I have decided to prepare and share a different Disney inspired treat that correlates with a National Food Celebration Day each month. Since National Popcorn Day is January 19, it seemed fitting that we start things off with this popular snack. Popcorn is easily found at stands throughout the Disney parks, and Disney ups the ante by offering it up in adorable and hard-to-resist keepsake buckets.
For my popcorn, I am combining it with another popular Disney treat: the churro. While we never did try the popcorn at Disneyland, I did make it a point to seek out the irresistible cinnamon and sugar coated donut sticks in the Bugs Life section of California Adventure. It was the kids first time having them and based on how quickly they disappeared, I think they really liked them.
- 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
- 2 TBSP coconut oil
- 1 TBSP Butter
- 2 TBSP Water
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 1 TBSP butter
- 2 TBSP water
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 TSP cinnamon
- 1/2 TSP vanilla extract (optional)
CINNAMON SUGAR TOPPING
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 TBSP cinnamon
POP YOUR CORN
- In a large covered pot on the stove, heat the coconut oil and 3-4 kernels of popcorn on medium heat.
- Listen closely and when then kernels pop, your oil is hot and ready. Carefully pour in the remainder of the popcorn kernels and put the lid back on.
- Shake the pot frequently over the burner. You may want to wear an oven mitt to protect from the steam escaping from the edges of the pot. Keep the lid on tightly and continue to gently shake the pot as the kernels pop.
- Remove the pot from the heat when you no longer hear the corn popping. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool.
MAKE THE SYRUP AND TOPPING
- In a medium sized pot, combine the butter, sugar, water, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently.
- While syrup is heating, combine the other 1/2 cup of sugar with 1 TBSP of cinnamon in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
- The syrup is finished once it comes to a boil. Remove from heat immediately and move to the next step.
- Carefully pour the hot syrup over the popped corn and stir to evenly coat all pieces.
- Shake half of the cinnamon/sugar topping mixture over the popcorn and stir.
- Finish by shaking the second half of the cinnamon sugar over the popcorn and stir again to ensure it sticks to all the syrup coated pieces of popcorn throughout. Add a sprinkling of salt if desired.
- Allow to set and dry for 15 minutes, then ENJOY!
This popcorn has the sweet cinnamon flavor and crunch you would expect in a churro. The sugar syrup coats and dries on the popcorn nicely without becoming sticky or gummy, and the addition of the cinnamon sugar on top gives the grainy outside texture you find on actual churro’s. I also love that this recipe uses simple ingredients you likely have at home, and there is no need to fool around with a candy thermometer.
You can pop the corn using your preferred method, but I really love how easy and tasty it pops up in the coconut oil on the stovetop. You can see my cute theater style air popper in some of the pictures, but I find the coconut oil really makes it taste more like theatre popcorn – just salt to taste instead of adding the my sweet churro flavoring.
Pick out your favorite Disney movie and whip up a batch of this delicious popcorn to enjoy during your next movie night. If you can’t be at a Disney Park, watching a Disney movie and enjoying a combination of two of their most popular snacks is the next best thing! If you are a fan of the classics, Pinocchio is set for release on January 31. 😉
What is your favorite treat to enjoy in the Disney Parks? Share in the comments and I will try to include it as one of my dozen different Disney Inspired Treats I am sharing this year.