Winter is slowly arriving here in Boston. Instead of snow we are mostly getting a lot a lot of rain. Thick, wet, slippery rain. Not only was it raining, but it was also veryyy windy. I think every trash can I walked by had at least 3 broken umbrellas sitting in them. If only it was a few degrees colder and then the rain would be snow, which has it’s own problems, but hey at least it would feel a little bit more like winter.To help us get in a more Christmasy/wintery mood we created this delicious white chocolate peppermint popcorn. If the fall is all about the pumpkin spice, then winter is all about the peppermint (and maybe gingerbread, but we haven’t gotten there yet).This popcorn definitely makes it feel more like the holidays. Each bite brings a burst of melted white chocolate and then a crunch of candy cane. It is hard to resist eating the whole batch in one sitting.This would be a great treat to share at a holiday party or pass out to your coworkers in cute bags. We stamped these plan brown lunch bags with festive Christmas stamps to give it a little extra holiday look. To make this festive popcorn you will need:
- Popcorn kernels – we used about 3 tablespoons
- White chocolate – about 3/4 cup chopped – we used a Lindt white chocolate bar. (Don’t use white chocolate chips, they won’t melt properly!)
- 2 Candy canes (or more!)
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (optional, but really good!)
- parchment paper
- Any optional mix ins – such as Chex cereal, pretzels, or your favorite nuts.
Begin by popping the kernels. You can do this a few different ways:
1) On the stovetop with a big pot, put about 1-3 tablespoons of oil (depending on how big of a batch of popcorn you wish to make) on the bottom of the pot and heat it up on medium. Once the oil is warm, add the kernels and put the lid on the pot. Turn the heat down a little bit. Once the popping starts to slow down then remove the pot from the stove and take the lid off. Be careful, the popcorn will be very hot, and some kernels might pop out of the pot
2) To pop the kernels in the microwave, put them in a brown paper bag and fold the top over twice. We recommend only using about 2 tablespoons of kernels at a time because. You don’t want to do too many or there won’t be enough room in the bag. But too few kernels will burn because the heat won’t distribute evenly. Microwave for 1.5-2 minutes, or until the popping starts to slow. Don’t wait until the popping stops or your popcorn will burn! Remove the bag and open carefully because it will be very hot.
3) Or, if you are big popcorn fans like us, you can pop the kernels in an air popper. We used about 3-4 tablespoons of kernels. Air poppers only cost about $15 and are totally worth it if you are a big popcorn eater.
Once the popcorn is popped, it is time to melt the white chocolate. Again, you can use a few different methods to do this.
The microwave works well, just make sure to use a microwave safe bowl and only melt it for a few seconds at a time and then stir and melt some more, this helps prevent the chocolate from burning. We usually do about 15 seconds, stir, and then do another 15 seconds. Once most of the chocolate is melted, stir until the rest melts rather than putting the bowl back in the microwave. The other way to melt the chocolate is to put a heat safe bowl on top of a pot of boiling water. Place the chocolate in the bowl and stir until it is melted. We recommend just using the microwave as it is a lot simpler.
Once the chocolate is melted, add the peppermint extract if using. Then we crushed up some candy canes in a plastic bag and added them to the chocolate. A spoon or an ice cream scooper works well to crush the candy canes. Lay the popcorn and any other treats you decided to add out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper as it will get quite messy. Drizzle the chocolate and candy cane mixture over the popcorn and let it cool completely. If you have room in your fridge, you can let it cool for about 15 minutes in there. Once it is cool you can break apart any chunks and put it in a fun container to serve! This treat is easily customizable and can be adjusted to your taste preference. If you prefer more chocolate, go ahead and add more! If you like extra candy canes, add more! This snack is perfect to have with a warm mug of hot chocolate. We couldn’t resist munching on it throughout the whole day!