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We do Movie Night with Mommy (yes, it’s capitalized) on a regular basis. Generally we do it on weekend, where the wee ones choose a movie and I make popcorn for us to munch on while we enjoy the flick. Buuuuut this week it’s a just a bit different. Little Miss worked really hard on math and got 100% on her test, which earned her a spot on the Pride Board at school, and it’s no homework week due to excellence in reading by both wee ones’ classes. So I made an exception and had a middle of the week movie night. And I didn’t just make popcorn, I made marshmallow popcorn.
Yes, you heard me right, marshmallow popcorn. It’s not that hard crunchy candy coating that you have on a popcorn ball. Instead it’s ooey and gooey and sweet and just flat out delicious. When the wee ones saw what I had prepped for them when they got home from school Wednesday, their minds were blown. And when I explained how it was their hard work that earned them this special treat, they became just a little motivated to work even harder in school.
Now granted, I may have had a little ulterior motive going on here. You see, a couple months ago, my dad took the wee ones to the movies when I was busy working and they were off snow due to the cold. They went to see Big Hero 6, and I didn’t get a chance to. It is now out on video as of Tuesday, and I didn’t want to miss out any more!
So the morning Big Hero 6 came out, I scooted on over to Walmart to pick up my very own copy, with plans to make an extra special Big Hero 6 movie night. Fortunately, my Walmart had way more than just a copy of the DVD I was expecting. When I walked to the back of the store to the movie section, they had a Big Hero 6 2 pack Blu-Ray DVD combo with a bonus disk that includes a gift with purchase of a digital copy of Big Hero 6 on Vudu while supplies last. Needless to say, it wasn’t too hard for me to decide which version of the release to pick up for our movie night.
All I had to do to get that free digital copy was to scan my receipt with the Savings Catcher in the Walmart app on my phone, and I get an email with my code to watch the movie on any device I want. Just don’t tell the wee ones. Not that I needed another incentive to remember to scan my Walmart receipts every time I leave the store, but this certainly provided a great reminder.
I had also placed a Big Hero 6 plush order on Walmart.com with site to store delivery (yay, no shipping charges!) that arrived Monday, which meant I was able to pick up my order when I stopped in to buy my movie. There was so much fun Big Hero 6 merchandise on the Walmart website that it was hard for me to decide, but considering how much Mister Man had talked about Fred when he came home from watching the movie the first time, I knew I had to go with the Baymax/Fred combo. Granted, Mister Man talked about the movie a lot that day. In fact, I got a 47 minute (I timed it) synopsis of literally everything that happened in the movie because he was that excited. I suppose I didn’t really need to see it after that, but… yes, I do!
Since I was making this a special weeknight Movie Night with Mommy, I decided to also make some special popcorn to go with the theme of the movie. I know Baymax isn’t really a marshmallow, but he kind of looks like one and don’t forget he is referred to as being like “a big toasty marshmallow” in the film. And that’s how my idea for marshmallow popcorn was born.
Of course, I couldn’t just make marshmallow popcorn and call it a day. No, since this was a Big Hero 6 inspired version of marshmallow popcorn, it had to look like Baymax somehow. As I brainstormed internally, I realized that if I put it in a 16 ounce clear cup and drew Baymax’s face on the front of the cup, it would look like Baymax once I put the marshmallow popcorn in. Bonus? It’s instant portion control for the wee ones.
Creating the cup was just as easy as I had anticipated it would be. I simply pulled out my favorite permanent black marker (no marker stains on anyone’s hands after watching this movie!) and drew a line across the cup quickly, which gave me a better chance of drawing a straight line, then colored in circles on either side of that line. Voila, Baymax.
How to Make Marshmallow Popcorn
To make the actual popcorn was fairly easy. I started out by popping my popcorn on the stove. I popped a little less than a cup of kernels to make 16 cups of popcorn in the end. It’s super easy to do if you’ve never done it before and definitely tastes better than many other kinds of popcorn. Check out how below.
Once my popcorn was popped, I set it aside, unseasoned. In a heavy saucepan, I added my butter and let it start melting. Once it had melted a little bit with the heat on medium low, I added the marshmallows and the brown sugar.
I used a spatula to stir it carefully. Marshmallows are funny things. It feels like they’re never going to melt as you stir and stir, and then all of a sudden, they collapse and melt completely. As they melt, continue stirring until they have come together with the brown sugar and butter to form a uniform mixture.
Remove your pan from the heat and add your vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract, but I highly recommend investing in some vanilla bean paste – yum!) and stir until it’s incorporated fully. You want to wait until your mixture is done cooking before you add the vanilla anytime you’re cooking something on the stove.
Once your marshmallow is ready, it’s time to truly make that marshmallow popcorn. Place your popcorn bowl as close to the marshmallow pot as possible to avoid making a mess. Using a spatula with a scooped shape, pick up batches of the marshmallow and drizzle it over your popcorn.
Once the marshmallow is in the popcorn, rub a little butter on your hands to keep the popcorn from sticking, and mix the popcorn gently to distribute the marshmallow throughout the popcorn. Try to avoid having too many clumps of purely marshmallow popcorn (although they are yummy).
Once the popcorn is mixed, go ahead and add it to your Baymax cups. When you do this, pick up small pieces at a time and place them in the cup. If you try to do pieces that are too big, you’ll end up with air pockets in your marshmallow popcorn cup or crush the popcorn trying to force it to move where you want it to. Adding little bits at a time is far easier and more effective.
This makes enough popcorn to fill eight 16 ounce cups, which makes it perfect for a party. Obviously, we didn’t need all those for the four of us in my family, which meant I was able to put the rest of the marshmallow popcorn into a sealed container to enjoy another night. The cups turned out pretty cute, I think!
Once the wee ones finished their chores and ate an early dinner, I pulled out the Baymax marshmallow popcorn I’d hidden (in plain sight, oh my children who can never find anything…) along with the Baymax and Fred plushes. They thought it was the coolest thing they’d ever seen and insisted on a photo shoot.
Not surprisingly, Fred thought the marshmallow popcorn looked pretty good and tried to eat it. Do you suppose if this were the movie he could toast it and make s’mores popcorn? Mmmmm!
He was right. The Baymax cups provided the perfect portion control for all of us to ensure we didn’t scarf down all the popcorn in sight, while looking pretty cool. The wee ones… they were in heaven.
Little Miss thought it was really cool that her popcorn stretched as she ate it. And that it was pretty awesome that even though it had marshmallow and stretched like this, it wasn’t sticky (once it cools, it is no longer sticky, which is an awesome feature of this marshmallow popcorn). Not surprisingly, Fred, who was watching the movie with her, was apparently still trying to “eat” the popcorn.
We make marshmallow popcorn. How do you make movie night special?
- 16 c popped popcorn, unseasoned
- 1/2 c butter
- 6 oz marshmallows
- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 1 t vanilla bean paste
- Pop your popcorn, then set it aside while you make your marshmallow topping.
- In a heavy saucepan over medium low heat, begin to melt your butter. As the butter melts, add the marshmallows and brown sugar.
- Stir constantly until the marshmallows have melted and are completely incorporated into the mixture. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla, stirring to mix thoroughly.
- Place your popcorn and marshmallow mixture as near each other as possible. Using a curved spatula pick up batches of marshmallow from your pot and drizzle them over the popcorn. Once the marshmallow has been added, rub the palms of your hands lightly in butter to keep them from sticking and carefully mix up the popcorn to distribute the marshmallow while not breaking the popcorn.
- Serve immediately. This will keep in a sealed container for 2-3 days after making it.