Made | Hot buttered popcorn chocolate chip cookies

Confession time: Sometimes when I'm working from home, I bake things. I usually bake them with the full intention of bringing them into work the next day, which makes it feel a little less scandalous. But still. My office is right next to the kitchen, and sometimes it just beckons.
Last Friday I was perusing Bloglovin' and saw Joy the Baker's post about these popcorn chocolate chip cookies (originally from Smitten Kitchen, which I somehow missed?!). I made them that very night with the excuse that we had guests coming into town (I always make up excuses for baking, even though I know I'd still be baking even if I couldn't come up with an excuse). They ended up being a huge hit, especially served as an impromptu breakfast the next morning. Then all this week I kept saying, "I'm going to make more of those popcorn cookies." Then I'd go to the gym and feel like maaayyyybe I should hold off on making a batch of cookies. (Full disclosure: I thought it would be overkill to eat the rocky road ice cream in our freezer along with fresh-baked cookies.) But then on Wednesday I remembered that we were going to Meg's house for a sushi-making dinner party on Friday night and an excuse was born! I'd make the cookies on Thursday while I worked from home. And I'd bring (most of) them to the party at Meg's!

So I made these bad boys during the tail end of my lunch break yesterday. I actually dressed up because I was going out for drinks later, so I even had to put on an apron. My neighbors must be confused about what I do for a living. But I mean, look at this, it's just daring me to mix it on low without an apron on (we all know that hand mixer "low" is stand mixer "warp speed").

This recipe is a delicious chocolate chip cookie with one daring amendment: buttery popcorn. Joy makes her popcorn from scratch, which I also do on official movie nights, but for these cookies, microwave popcorn is an equally viable alternative (but you must resist the urge to just eat the popcorn on its own; plug up your nose or something). Beat all of your ingredients together in a particular order with a stand mixer (or hand mixer, for us unmarried folk) then dump in your popcorn! It looks like an accident, but it is just the opposite.

Then comes the chocolate. I used Nestle's dark chocolate chips; they're bigger than normal chocolate chips and they're the only dark chocolate option I found at Shaw's? Or you could put some fancy chocolate chunks or even (I just thought of this!) butterscotch or caramel chips. Turn this movie snack into a county fair treat! 
Bake these guys up for about nine minutes (every oven has its magic cookie-baking number, what's yours?) and then let them sit in the sun while you take pictures. Or skip that part and just go straight to dipping them in 2% milk. Save that skim milk for your bran muffins on Monday morning. These are for Friday night.
Maybe it was just coincidence, but the sun came out at the same time the first batch of cookies did. 

Buttery Popcorn Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 20 cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 bag of chocolate chips
~2 cups or 1/2 personal size bag of microwave popcorn (the more buttery, the better! I used Trader Joe's brand)

1. With a mixer of any sort, mix the butter and sugars until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix for another minute.
2. Mix in the flour, soda, and salt until just combined.
3. Fold the popcorn in until it breaks down a little, then add the chocolate and incorporate.
4. Form dough balls with an ice cream scoop or a regular old spoon and place on parchment paper about 1-2" apart.
5. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about nine minutes (I like mine a little undercooked).
6. Bring to your "friend's party."

PS: You know that moment in Baby Mama when Tina Faye's sister is trying to figure out what's on her kid's face and after saying it could be either chocolate or poop, she tastes it and discovers it's chocolate, and Tina Faye says, "What if it had been poop?!" Well, after cleaning up the cookie making mess, I had a brown smudge on my finger and I licked it off, thinking it was chocolate. When the taste was bitter, I panicked and ran to the sink to rinse my mouth out, during which I realized it was just vanilla.

PPS: There's no way it could've been poop, but still it was as traumatic as drinking your water to discover it's actually Sprite.

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