Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Peppermint Popcorn

Oops! A day early....I was going to post this tomorrow. This was supposed to be posted on Thursday, the 19th, and I didn't even know it's National Popcorn Day! Happy Popcorn Day!
Looking for a way to get rid of your leftover Christmas candy? Peppermints and candy canes? Peppermint Hershey Kisses? 

I had a variation of this at my book club (along with the Cranberry Cilantro Relish Spread....I have cool friends) but she made it with chex cereal. Well, I had some peppermint candies left and peppermint kisses from these Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies. My children wanted a treat and I wanted to deliver some goodies off to a recovering friend (get this! My friend went to the ER for an appendicitis only to have it removed with the good, and scary, news that there was a cancerous tumor on the appendix! Blessing in disguise!) who really liked the peppermint treat at the book club. So I brought her some. This would also make a fun Valentine's treat. It's so pink with nice crunchy satisfying peppermint bits.

Peppermint Popcorn
adapted from Skip to My Lou and Plain Chicken

*1 cup peppermints, approximately 40 hard peppermint candies or 10 candy canes, finely ground
*1 pound melted vanilla candy---I used a combination of pink Wilton's candy melts &  30 Peppermint Hershey kissesYou could also use almond bark or white chocolate chips. Or try Andes peppermint chocolates.
*12 cups air popped corn, use this easy microwave tutorial 
*1 cup Frosted Animal Cookies, optional. It adds a nice texture and added flavor

1. Pop corn according to tutorial. Pour into a giant mixing bowl.
2. Crush peppermints in a small food processor. This is quite aggressive and it sounds like you're breaking glass but your processor can handle it. I have a tiny one and ground them in batches. The smaller the bits, the better. Set aside.
3. Break animal cookies into pea sized bits. Set aside.
4. Melt your candies and kisses in a glass pyrex measuring cup or medium sized microwave bowl. Stir every 30 seconds and continue cooking, stirring after each round, until completely melted.
5. Pour over popcorn and stir until evenly spread.
6. Spread a cookie sheet sized piece of wax paper or parchment out. Pour the popcorn onto it. Sprinle with peppermint bits and cookie bits.
7. Let dry completely, until it hardens and is no longer gooey, about 30 minutes. Then it's ready to eat and place in a cello or ziplock bag.

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