Poppycock: A Family Favourite Recipe

This week marks the second anniversary of my Dad’s passing so I’ve been thinking about him a lot. And thoughts of Dad always lead me to memories of his sweet tooth, which he kindly passed down to his kids. Inspired by Myndi Shafer’s recent blog, and in honour of my Dad’s memory, I’d like to share with you my recipe for Poppycock, which I used to give to him every Christmas.

Sheila’s Poppycock Recipe

1 cup pecan halves

1 cup whole un-blanched almonds

8 cups popped popcorn

1 1/3 cup brown sugar

1 cup margarine

1/2 cup golden corn syrup

1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

1/2 tsp. soda

1 tsp. vanilla

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Spread pecans and almonds on an ungreased cookie sheet and toast lightly. In a very large unbuttered bowl, mix nuts and popcorn together.

In a small heavy saucepan, combine the brown sugar, margarine, corn syrup and cream of tartar. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture forms a soft ball when dropped into cold water, approximately four minutes. Note: if you like your poppycock less chewy, then cook until the mixture forms a hard ball when dropped into cold water, approximately five minutes.

Remove from stove and stir in the soda and vanilla. Be careful because the addition of the soda makes the mixture foam up.

Pour over the popcorn and nut mix. With a wooden spoon, stir until evenly coated. Leave in bowl until the poppycock is partially cooled but make sure you stir it once in a while to keep the mixture from forming into one hard ball.

When the popcorn and nuts have cooled some, dump it on to the countertop or on large cookie sheets and continue to stir occasionally until fully cooled. I usually leave it out overnight and every time I walk by, I stir it to break it apart. Someone will no doubt sneak a piece or two but that’s okay because it’s easy to make a second batch.

This makes a wonderful Christmas gift. I like to put it into jars and tins to give to family and friends. Enjoy!

About Sheila Seabrook

Author of contemporary romance and women's fiction.

Posted on November 30, 2011, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 40 Comments.

  1. Wow Sheila, I’ve got a toothache just reading about this. How totally delicious and I am sure very addictive. The best part about holiday recipes is the memories they evoke, the joy you give to someone in a jar or can and keeping a family tradition for the children. This is a keeper. I do chocolate bark with combinations of different chocolates, ground mints, chopped nuts, raisins, and toffee. Each type of chocolate is mixed with differnt ingredients creating chocolate barks you break into chunks and also put into tins.

    Have a good time making your poppycock this year 🙂

    • Florence, I would love to make chocolate bark but haven’t been brave enough to try. I fear I’d eat the entire recipe before anyone else got a chance to taste it.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Michelle Beattie

    Sheila, I love poppycock (but it sounds like a lot of work!) and I understand about missing your dad. Seems harder at this time of year. Thanks for the great recipe!

  3. And thanks for the link to my blog…so sweet! 🙂

  4. Ooh, Sheila, your poppycock recipe’s a keeper. I’m going to make it as well as Myndi’s cream cheese cookies. My kids and husband will wonder what they did to deserve such treats.

    I’ll think of you and your dad as I combine, pour, and stir.

  5. Sounds delicious, Sheila! My grandmother used to make dozens and dozens of cookies that I looked forward to each year. I have her recipes and need to get my butt in the kitchen to make them for my kids. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. Shannon Esposito

    I’d say this Christmas, I’m going to be doing a lot of baking 🙂 Thanks for sharing your family recipe, Sheila!

  7. Lovely recipe and tribute. Preparing delicious treats are a wonderful way to honor lost loved ones’ memories. I do the same with my grandmother’s cardamom bread. Thanks, Sheila! Seems like a keeper. 🙂

  8. Sheila I gained weight reading this. What a treat.

    Condolences on the loss of your dad.

    • At Christmas, I skip the food and go straight for the dessert. It’s the only way I can maintain my weight. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. LOL!

      Thanks for stopping in, Louise!

  9. …so he was ‘double-caching’! I always gave your dad a bag of Crazy Crunch around this time of year. Yes, he was a sweet man with a sweet tooth who always had room for “just one more”. Missing him too, Sheila. Hugs.

    • LOL! I remember this! He never turned down a sweet treat, did he. And he always had sweets in his garage to hand out to his grandchildren, too. Remember that? 🙂

      Thanks for sharing, Theresa!

  10. Yummmm!!!! (Translated you send me some. LOL)

  11. Sheila,
    My dad has been gone for Christmas’ this year. I miss him each year. He always loved anything sweet. I’ve never heard of Poppycock but it looks like fun to make and to eat! We’ll be putting the recipe in our holiday rotation for sure this year.

  12. Oh Sheila, I’m so glad it was a recipe. I was thinking about the old english phrase poppycock. LOL

    That does sound really good though. Thanks for sharing and I am sorry for your lose. I’ve been there and it takes a while. Take care. 🙂

    • While I was looking for a Poppycock picture, I kept coming across some band called Poppycock. I’d totally forgotten about the poppycock phrase. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping in!

  13. Well, here’s a comment you probably weren’t expecting, Sheila. Your recipe almost made me cry! My dad (who has passed on) used to LOVE poppycock and reading this brought back such fond memories of him eating his favorite snack food. I miss him so.

    • Sorry to make you cry, Patti. It’s amazing what brings back those special memories. Myndi’s post that I linked to made me cry the other day. Hugs to you, my dear friend!

      Thanks for sharing!

  14. Very nice tribute to your father. I have never heard of Poppycock, but it sounds like something that if I can get it right, my family would enjoy. Thanks for sharing your memories and recipe.

  15. I’m sorry for your loss. But what a tribute to your father. So many people will make this yummy treat and each bite will, in a way, be another tribute to him. Hugs!

    • What a nice thought, Lynette. I’ll remember that when I’m sitting at my mom’s house this year, eating poppycock and thinking of all the other people who I’ve shared the recipe with.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  16. oh boy! Sheila’s Poppycock. I think we just started a new Christmas tradition at my house!

  17. Delicious! Like you, I have a sweet tooth like my dad… 🙂 Can’t wait to try the recipe!

    • Anything with a caramel type toffee is my favorite, which is why I make the Poppycock candy coating soft instead of crunchy. Hmmm, caramel and chocolate … oh, and peanut butter, too. 🙂

  18. Oh yum! I’m thinking this is going to have to go on the holiday goodie…’to make’…list. It’s just not fair that Christmas treats have calories though. It really isn’t. 🙂

  19. Yum! I can see what I’m doing tomorrow!

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