Cheesy Popcorn Squares

A very happy new year to all my lovely readers wherever you are. Like most people, I find it so very easy to get lost in the random period between Christmas and New Year. At the end of boxing day, I feel as if the Christmas celebrations should be drawing to a close, but my pantry and kitchen indicate otherwise. I wouldn’t be exaggerating much by saying that we still have a small mountain of chocolate left over despite our best efforts to make it shrink. I don’t think we shall need to buy any more chocolate until Easter. I have even found some new places in our messy pantry to hide chocolate from myself and everyone else to save for when everything and everyone are driving me around the bend and I need a chocolate fix. I am sure you will agree that this isn’t selfish, but merely survival!

In a desperate attempt to move away from sweet recipes with the kids after a wonderfully sugary build up to Christmas, I managed to entice the boys to make their lunch. I am completely convinced that the only reason that I succeeded in doing this is because I said the recipe included popcorn. This baffled them somewhat as they normally have unflavoured popcorn with some raisins or nuts for film snacks and made them all the more eager to get stuck in. The other reason for using popcorn is the pure sound of joy that comes from the children when the popcorn machine starts whirring and popping and the popcorn comes jumping out.

Flattening it with the spatula – shortly before the spatula got licked!

Ingredients

  • 75g popped plain popcorn
  • 100ml garlic and herb cream cheese
  • 80ml crème fraiche
  • 150g grated cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 slices ham (or omit to make vegetarian)
  • Seasoning

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºc fan and grease and line a brownie tin or a square or rectangular cake tin.
  2. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk.
  3. Add the cream cheese, crème fraiche, tomato paste and seasoning and mix well.
  4. Put the grated cheese, ham (if using) and popcorn into the mixture and mix until fully combined.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the tin and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven when golden and the cheese is all lovely and melty. Leave for 15-20 minutes to cool before slicing into squares.
  6. Enjoy!
Atticus decided he couldn’t wait for me to finish taking some pictures of their creations before trying them!

Simon and the kids had this for lunch one day. I was expecting them to leave some so the kids could have some the following day. This didn’t happen as all the pieces were gobbled up at lunch! I suppose this is an accurate indication of their opinion of the bake! Do get in touch if you have a chance to make these Cheesy Popcorn Squares.

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