It’s so weird to see my name in the title of this recipe post. What’s even more weird, is that both of my names are there! My real name is Byron, but all of my high school friends knew me as Moose. In fact, Moose has followed me for quite some time. I even collect moose-related objects – not obsessively, but I do have a few very nice things that I greatly treasure. Even my John.e calls me Moose from time to time!
Last Christmas, I was out shopping and I found a package of Harry & David’s Moose Munch, and I just had to have it!
Recently, john.e and I were hosting a card night with our good friends, Al and Paulie, and I thought the caramel-coated, chocolate-drizzled popcorn treat would be the perfect card night snack food. And, I knew I could make it fresh at home and better tasting than store-bought kind.
The candy bar was so much fun to do! I wish I had thought of doing this a few years back when my daughter was celebrating her birthdays. She’s quite the little lady now, so a candy bar might be a little “not cool, Dad!” John.e and I went to the Bulk Barn and were both quite surprised at how little we could find that would fit the dietary restrictions for that evening’s get together.
Our friend Paulie is allergic to pineapple and fish. His partner, Al, is allergic to tree nuts and peas. And, well, John.e is a vegetarian so we need to stay away from things like gelatin. I tell you, I was the only normal person at the card table that night! We did manage to find a few treats that were mostly friendly, although, John.e had to stay away from the Spearmint Leaves – those are my favourite, so more for me!
Card night was fantastic! It certainly helps when we are entertaining fantastic guys like Paulie and Al. They are both so down-to-earth and so easy to talk to and laugh with. We truly love them both so much! And, we’re looking forward to our next evening together!
And, because I am such a wonderful host 😉 I purchased Chinese Food take-out containers and small polka-dot storage boxes (the boxes matched the paper napkins!) so that our guests could help themselves to a few boxes of treats to take home once the evening had come to an end.
Byron's Moose Munch
- 20 cups popped popping corn
- 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 3/4 cup salted butter
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups pretzels, broken into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup whole peanuts, salted
- 2 cups milk chocolate chips
The process seems a little daunting, but the result is totally worth it! Start by popping the corn. Use an air-popper if you have one. You don't want to add any oil or butter to the popcorn while popping it, so an air popper would work best. An alternative would be to use your microwave. You can buy microwavable plain popcorn in most grocery stores. Once the popcorn is ready, spread it on a baking sheet to cool. Crumble over the broken pretzel pieces and the peanuts.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, on medium heat, bring to a boil the brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter. Swirl the pan to ensure the ingredients are mixing together and that the brown sugar is dissolving. Once the mixture comes to a boil, continue cooking for exactly two minutes. Remove the sauce pan from the heat and sit it into the kitchen sink. Add the baking soda and stir well with a wooden spoon.
Poor this mixture over the popcorn, pretzels and nuts. Sprinkle with salt, and using metal tongs, toss gently to coat.
Bake the mixture at 250 degrees for 1 hour.
Remove the popcorn from the oven every 15 minutes, toss and place it back in the oven.
Once the hour has passed, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely at room temperature. This will not take too long; about 30 minutes is good.
Once cooled, melt the chocolate chips using a double boiler and place the melted chocolate into a sturdy Ziploc bag.
Using scissors, cut a small hole in the bottom of one end of the bag and drizzle the chocolate over the popcorn. You will not toss the popcorn again, so don't be afraid to use all of the chocolate and get into the nooks and crannies to get a good amount of chocolate in each bite.
Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator for at least one hour.
Remove from the refrigerator and break into manageable pieces.