Monday, December 10, 2012

Peppermint Bark Popcorn

Can you tell it's Christmas time? I sure can! Today I made two batches of Peppermint Bark Popcorn. I made it for the first time last year and gave it to friends, as far as I know everyone loved it! I sure did! Don't you love when you discover a 'new' recipe that just finds it's way into your holiday treats? I am grateful for all the ones that we have in our family's favorites! I won't be making too many of those this year since it's just us three. But, tonight I wanted us to go out and share a few goodies with close friends, and this is one that I chose for this year. It sounds pretty simple, but it is a little bit time consuming, but is well worth it.

Here is the recipe, in case you are interested in trying it. (calls for white chocolate almond bark, which I use, but had to order it online, can't find it anywhere around here)

Peppermint Bark Popcorn

16 C popped popcorn* (fresh, or about 2 bags microwave popcorn)
1 lb almond bark
1 6 ounce box candy canes, crushed (about 1 generous cups, Bob’s brand are best!)
1/4 teaspoon peppermint oil or 2 teaspoons peppermint extract**
3/4 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
*if you’re using microwave popcorn, try to find an unbuttered or “natural” kind because this looks much prettier if the popcorn isn’t bright yellow!  Lightly salted is fine, I actually like a little salt in there, but avoid heavy buttered.
** If you can find flavored oils, like you would use for candy making, use them as they will best combine with the almond bark.  If using extract, it’s not unusual for it to cause the almond bark to seize, but just stir quickly and pour immediately on popcorn.  Once distributed it will be just fine. 
Place popcorn in a very large mixing bowl.
Melt almond bark according to package instructions.  When completely melted, add extract or peppermint oil.  If using extract, it’s normal for the almond bark to seize (get lumpy) which is okay, just stir very quickly, the more you wait the more it will seize.
Pour melted almond bark mixture over popcorn and pour crushed candy canes on top.  Stir to evenly coat.  Pour popcorn out onto waxed paper, parchment, or foil and spread out.
Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth.  Drizzle over popcorn mixture.  Let mixture dry completely until chocolate and almond bark are hardened.   You may place in the fridge to speed process along.
When chocolate is hardened, use your hands to break up popcorn into chunks. Toss in a bowl, a jar, a cute package, or in your mouth :)

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