Warning: I like to ramble and enjoy a good side story. It will happen throughout this blog post and the recipe. You’ve been warned.
So my sister-in-law, genius that she is, bought me Kristen Tomlan’s cook book. For those of you that don’t know. Kristen Tomlan is the brains behind Dō. That wonderful place that makes and sells raw cookie dough that is safe for consumption. You know, heaven.
Now Kristen taught me a lot (via the cookbook, she didn’t actually come to my house. That would have been awesome). She taught me how to pasteurize eggs… actually, no. I learned that one via the internet. But she taught me how to pasteurize flour. And she taught me that once you did both of those things, cookie dough can be put in anything. Literally anything.
So one night, after making cookie dough buttercream (so I could make cookie dough donuts the next morning, like you do) I made a big bowl of popcorn to eat while I watched some movie or TV show (possibly while I ignored Robo Cop for the umpteenth time.) And as the popcorn was popping my brain went “Buttercream has butter in it. You could put that on the popcorn.” and I went “Brain you’re a genius” and so Cookie Dough Popcorn was born.
Before you make the cookie dough, since you’re not going to be baking this into cookies, you’ve got to pasteurize the eggs and the flour. Which sounds scarier than it is. But rest assured, if my 10 year old can do it (she can), so can you.
To pasteurize the eggs —
Side note. I have not spelled pasteurize right once this whole blog post. I’ve had to use the red squiggly line to fix it every time. Maybe by the end of it I’ll get it.
Ok, right. Pasteurizing the eggs. To pasteurize the eggs you bring a pot of water on the stove to 140°F. Then hold it there for 2 minutes. Add an egg and keep the temperature between 140°F and 142°F for 5 minutes and voila! Your egg is pasteurized.
Pasteurizing flour is even easier. So easy, I usually pasteurize all the flour as soon as I get it so I can eat all the dough as I make things. In any case, you put the flour in a bowl and then nuke it in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time stirring and taking the temperature between each nuking. You’re looking to get the flour to 165°F. Once you do, you can let it cool down and then proceed with baking as usual.
I usually make a chocolate chip dough for the cookie dough popcorn, but really, you could make any kind. The chocolate chip is nice because the chocolate always goes well with popcorn. In this case, I didn’t have mini chocolate chips, but I did have mini M&Ms (Thank you Aunt Patricia!)
Once you’ve made the cookie dough (and arguably you can use any cookie recipe for that) you’re going to make some buttercream frosting. At this point, I think you’re thinking “SERIOUSLY?! THIS IS A LOT OF WORK!” but nothing delicious is made quickly. Ok, that’s not true, but this is totally worth it.
So you make the buttercream, and then – this is the genius bit from Kristen Tomlan – you put the cookie dough in the buttercream and mix it all up. Presto! Cookie dough buttercream!
All that’s left is to make the popcorn, melt the buttercream a bit (makes the chocolate all melt-y, and is easier to spread around the popcorn without clumping), and pour the goodness on the popcorn.
1 cup and 2 tbsp pasteurized flour
1 1/8 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/6 cup pasteurized egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 stick butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp milk or heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup of cookie dough
- Make the cookie dough:
- Mix the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the butter on medium for about 2 minutes. Then add the sugar and mix another 4 minutes.
- Add the milk, egg, and vanilla to the sugar and butter and mix another 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add 1/2 of the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated (about 15 seconds). Then add the 2nd half and mix just until incorporated (another 15 seconds).
- Fold in the mini chocolate chips (or M&Ms)
- Ok, now for the buttercream.
- Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer for about 3 minutes.
- Add the vanilla, milk, and salt and mix until combined.
- Add the confectioners’ sugar 1/2 at a time (unless you want confectioners’ sugar to go poof all over the place). Once it’s incorporated, turn the mixer on high.
- Add the cookie dough little bits at a time to the mixer while it’s running. Kristen advises you to add half of it and mix it until it’s fully incorporated and then add the other half so you have balls of cookie dough, but that doesn’t work so well for the popcorn as everything gets melted, so I just mix it all in.
- Make the popcorn however you make popcorn.
- While the popcorn is popping, melt 2-3 tbsp of the buttercream in the microwave for about 30 seconds, stopping every 10 seconds to stir it.
- Once the popcorn is done, drizzle some of the buttercream on top and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat and then repeat until all the buttercream is gone. If the popcorn starts sticking in clumps, use a spoon to stir it and break up the chunks.