- 1/2 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 7 tablespoons butter-flavored shortening
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1/4 cup each soft caramels, dark chocolate and pecans, all roughly chopped
- 2 cups cheddar cheese popcorn
As a Chicago native, every year when the Marshall Field’s Christmas windows would come to life, my family would get bundled up and head downtown anxiously awaiting to see what magical dream world we would be transported to. To keep warm, we would buy hot apple cider and warm Garrett’s popcorn. Seeing the popcorn being freshly pooped and packaged right in front of your eyes was an enchanting experience that all Chicagoans live for.
The aroma of butter and caramel filled the air for blocks. With your cider and Chicago Mix, you suddenly didn’t feel the very cold chill in the air and life was perfect. My soft and chewy cookie plays with salty and sweet inspired by the iconic flavors of Garrett’s: cheese and caramel. But you can use your favorite flavored popcorn for this recipe and make it your own!
Preheat the oven to 375 F.2.
In a small saucepan, cook the butter over medium-low heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until deep amber in color, for 5 to 7 minutes; remove from the heat and cool completely.3.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour and baking soda until well combined; set aside.4.
Using a hand or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the browned butter, shortening and salt for 3 minutes.5.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the brown sugar and sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.6.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated, about 2 minutes.7.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the flour mixture and beat just until the batter comes together and there are no white streaks, about 30 seconds.8.
Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the caramel, chocolate and pecans.9.
Using a cookie scoop, scoop the cookies and place them onto parchment-lined sheet pans, leaving 2-inches of space between each to account for spreading. Bake for about 12 minutes.10.
As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, carefully and gently push 3 to 4 pieces of cheese popcorn onto the top of each cookie.11.
Using a round cookie cutter that’s slightly larger than each cookie, place the cutter around each cookie and swirl it in a circular motion to shape the warm cookie into a perfect circle.12.
Transfer cookies to a cooling rack; cool completely and enjoy!