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{flavor stories} sakura candy corn...

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I've had a thing for popcorn lately and a hankering for candy corn. So, I decided to try a take on a childhood favorite made sweeter with nonpareils and sakura {cherry blossom} extract. And you know what? It turned out better {and cuter!} than I could have imagined!

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Sakura Candy Corn
4 cups white popcorn, popped
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp baking soda
a pinch of fleur de sel
1 tbsp butter, unsalted
5 drops sakura extract {or 1 tsp vanilla extract} 
a touch of pink food dye {optional}
a handful of white or primary nonpareils {optional}

Here's how: Place the popcorn in a large bowl and set aside. On high-heat in a small saucepan, cook sugar and water until it reaches 290F {just under hard crack} on a candy thermometer. Add the soda and fleur de sel and swirl until combined {it will be a little frothy}. Remove from heat and add the butter, extract, and color and stir until combined. Quickly pour over popcorn and fold together until the sugar mixture coats most of the popcorn. Immediately sprinkle with the nonpareils. Let cool for 10 minutes.  

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My version is pretty in pastel pink and white and makes a sweet gift when packaged in small glassine bags and tied with kraft twist ties like these from Knot and Bow. I also love these recipes for Chili-Lime, Caramel and Fleur de sel and Spicy Sweet popcorn. Plus, one day soon I'd really love to try these Buttered Popcorn Sundaes!

So tell me folks, do you have any popcorn secrets you'd like to share—a favorite flavor combination or a must-know tip about this crunchy snack?

Nikole

{photos and styling by Nikole Herriott for Oh Joy}

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