Servings: 3 to 4 (Makes 6 cups)

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Ingredients

1/4 cup popcorn kernels

1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. Place popcorn kernels in clean, brown, paper lunch bag. Drizzle kernels with oil. Fold over top of bag three times to seal (do not tape or staple).

2. Shake bag to coat kernels with oil, place bag on its side on large microwave-safe plate, and shake kernels into even layer in bag.

3. Place plate in microwave and cook until popping slows down to one or two pops at a time, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove plate from microwave. Set aside to cool slightly.

4. Place butter in large microwave-safe bowl (big enough to hold popcorn), cover and heat in microwave at 50 percent power until melted, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove bowl from microwave.

5. Open paper bag, and pour popcorn into bowl with melted butter. Use rubber spatula to toss popcorn with butter. Sprinkle with salt. Serve.

Customize it

Parmesan-Herb Popcorn: In small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend.


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Sprinkle over popcorn along with salt just before serving.

Sriracha-Lime Popcorn: Stir 1/2 teaspoon sriracha sauce into melted butter. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest over popcorn along with salt just before serving.

Cinnamon-Malt Popcorn: In small bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon malted milk powder, 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Sprinkle over popcorn along with salt just before serving.

-- AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN (AP)