Popcorn Desserts + Kettle Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies

Popcorn Panna Cotta

Popcorn is one of those items that I feel guilt-free about eating. Cheese popcorn and kettle corn rank at the top of my favorite food groups with the added benefit of giving me some very extra needed fiber in my diet. On Zagat San Diego, I recently did a round up of popcorn desserts. I devoured popcorn panna cotta (pictured above), tried caramel popcorn and still dream about the brown butter popcorn ice cream served with a salted caramel ganache. (Read the roundup here.)


But no restaurant that I knew of incorporated it into cookies. Trader Joe’s used to sell a tub of their version of kettle corn cookies but I never saw them after my first sighting. So instead, I sought out to make my own using a basic chocolate chip recipe and adding the sweet and salty crunch of kettle corn.


It’s not too far off when you consider Momofuku’s compost cookies folding potato chips into batter. With this recipe, mixing the popcorn into the batter is the hardest part followed by dropping them onto the cookie sheet. But if it’s well mixed into, you’ll be rewarded with a chunky yet soft chocolate chip cookie with a nice salt component. I imagine that it works especially well with a nice caramel popcorn too.


Kettle Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 18 large cookies

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
4 cups kettle corn

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla extract.  Add flour, baking soda and salt and mix until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Fold in popcorn one cup at a time making sure not to break popcorn kernels.

Using a cookie or ice cream scoop, drop batter on a baking sheet lined with parchment or Silpat mat.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until batter is lightly brown. Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

4 thoughts on “Popcorn Desserts + Kettle Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies

Add yours

  1. These cookies look fantastic Darlene! And I’m loving that Zagat roundup too. I kindof want to make some brown butter popcorn ice cream now. Brian Malarkey is known for his Popcorn Margarita, but to be honest, the popcorn flavor wasn’t too pronounced when I tried it.

  2. I love all things popcorn! I hadn’t heard of the popcorn desserts at those restaurants – that panna cotta looks mighty interesting if you ask me. I tried those kettle corn cookies at TJ’s but I didn’t really like. The popcorn didn’t stay crunchy and I got kernels stuck in my teeth and they were a tad too sweet. Your cookies look awesome though – I’d try making them. Looks like a softer cookie than TJ’s crunchy cookie.

  3. *drool* these look so delicious! Maybe I will grab some kettle corn from the farmers market just to make this. We had a bake sale competition at work last month (themed chocolate chip) and most were normal cookies. I bet this would have blown everything away! Saving this for the next one and I will WIN! 😉

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