Recipes: Lights, Camera, Action

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With the 40th Toronto International Film Festival under way, we’ve rounded up our top recipes for the best movie snacks!

Popcorn Martini

Popcorn Water
2 cups water
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp kosher salt
2½ cups plain popcorn

4 oz. popcorn water
1½ oz butterscotch ripple
1 oz vodka
½ oz heavy cream

1) For the popcorn water, in a small saucepan bring the water, sugar and salt to a boil over medium heat. Add popcorn and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes and strain mixture through cheesecloth, reserving the liquid and discarding the kernels. Allow to cool.

2) For the martini, place a handful of ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Add popcorn water, butterscotch ripple, vodka and cream. Shake well to combine and pour into a chilled martini glass.

Serves 3

Peanut & Popcorn Crusted Chicken

Citrus Marinade
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp chili powder
½ tsp lime zest
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

3 cups popped plain popcorn
¾ cup coarsely chopped peanuts
½ tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp flour
1 egg
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp fresh lime juice

2 tbsp vegetable oil

Creamy Peanut Sauce
6 tbsp smooth peanut butter
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
Pinch cayenne pepper

1) For the marinade, whisk together lime juice, Dijon mustard, olive oil, chili powder, lime zest, salt and pepper. Place chicken in a large glass bowl, coat with marinade and refrigerate 1-8 hours.

2) In a blender, process popcorn until finely ground. Pour into a shallow dish and stir in peanuts and salt set aside. Place flour in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, whisk egg, soy sauce and lime juice until combined.

3) Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Remove chicken breasts from marinade and dip each piece in flour, shake off excess. Dip in egg mixture and then into popcorn mixture, patting well to adhere. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add vegetable oil. Brown chicken in skillet, cooking 2 minutes per side. Place chicken on baking sheet and finish cooking in oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Serve immediately with peanut sauce.

4) For the peanut sauce, in a small bowl whisk together peanut butter, honey, soy, lime juice and cayenne until smooth.

Serves 4

Pretzel Bites with Honey Mustard Dip

Pretzel Dough
1½ cups warm water
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 pkg. dry yeast
¼ cup butter, melted
4½ cups flour
1 tsp kosher salt

16 cups water
½ cup baking soda

1 egg, lightly beaten
Coarse sea salt

Honey Mustard Dip
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1) For the pretzel dough, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine warm water and brown sugar. Sprinkle yeast on top and let stand for 5 minutes, until the yeast becomes frothy. Add the melted butter, flour and salt. Mix on low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium for 3-4 minutes, until the dough becomes pliable. Remove dough from the bowl and place in a large, lightly greased mixing bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

2) Preheat oven to 425ºF. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and divide into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into long ropes and cut into 1-inch pieces to make pretzel bites. Cover pretzel bites with a cloth while working on the rest of the dough so it doesn’t dry out.

3) Using a large pot, bring 16 cups of water to a boil over medium heat. Add baking soda. Boil pretzel bites in small batches for 30 seconds. Remove from the water with a flat slotted spoon and place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining bites. Cut a crisscross slit on the top of each pretzel bite. Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake 13-15 minutes, until golden brown. Cool slightly and serve with honey mustard dip. Best prepared and served on the same day.

4) For the honey mustard dip, in a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, honey and lemon juice until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Yield: Approximately 115-120 pretzel bites

Frosted Snickers Blondies

Snickers Blondies
¾ cup butter, room temperature
1½ cups brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2¼ cups flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
2 cups chopped Snickers
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Creamy Frosting
¾ cup butter, room temperature
¼ cup shortening
3 cups icing sugar
1 tbsp whole milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup chopped Snickers

1) Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a 13×9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Dust with a few pinches of flour, shaking out excess.

2) For the blondies, in an electric mixer, cream together butter, brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time and add vanilla until combined. On low speed, add flour, baking soda, salt, chopped Snickers and semi-sweet chocolate, mixing just until the flour disappears. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely before frosting.

3) For the frosting, using an electric mixer on low speed, combine butter, shortening, icing sugar, milk and vanilla. Raise speed to medium and beat until icing sugar is incorporated and frosting is smooth. Stir in chopped Snickers. Spread frosting over cooled blondies.

Yield: 20-24 bars

Mars Bar & Marshmallow Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes
¾ cup boiling water
¾ cup cocoa powder, sifted
¾ cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ cups cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup chopped Mars Bars

Chocolate Icing
1 cup butter, softened
½ cup cocoa powder, sifted
2 ½ cups icing sugar
3 tbsp milk

24 tbsp marshmallow fluff

1) For the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

2) In a small bowl, combine boiling water and cocoa powder. Set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

3) Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue creaming on medium speed and add vanilla extract. On low speed, alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Add cocoa mixture and chopped Mars bars, continuing on low speed, just until all ingredients are combined. Spoon batter into prepared cupcake liners until each is ¾ full. Bake 22-24 minutes or until tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

4) For the icing, in an electric mixer, combine butter, cocoa powder and icing sugar on low speed. Once combined, on medium speed, add milk 1 tbsp at a time to achieve desired consistency.

5) To assemble the cupcakes, using a pairing knife, cut out a small cone from the center of each cupcake. Coat a spoon with non-stick cooking spray and spoon 1 heaping tbsp of marshmallow fluff into each cupcake. Replace cut-out piece of cupcake. Spread cupcake top with chocolate icing and serve.

Makes 24 cupcakes

Chocolate Pretzel Caramel Popcorn

12 cups unsalted popped popcorn
2½ cups mini pretzels

1 cup brown sugar
½ cup butter, cubed
¼ cup light corn syrup
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp baking soda

4 oz white chocolate, melted
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted

1) Preheat oven to 250ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Coat a large mixing bowl with non-stick cooking spray and place popcorn and pretzels in the bowl. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, salt and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring for 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda (mixture will bubble up a little). Quickly and carefully pour over the popcorn and pretzels and toss using wooden spoons to mix. Spread over prepared baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

2) Remove from oven and transfer popcorn mixture to parchment paper to cool. Drizzle with melted white chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate. Cool completely to let chocolate set. Store in an airtight container.

Serves 8-10

Junior Mint Milkshake

2 cups mint chocolate chip ice cream
¼ cup Junior Mints
¼ cup whole milk
1oz Irish Whiskey

Whipped cream, for garnish
Shaved chocolate, for garnish

Using a blender, combine mint chocolate chip ice cream, Junior Mints, milk and Irish whiskey. Blend until smooth and pour into a milkshake glass. Garnish with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.

Serves 1