Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Popcorn Crunch

We are closer!  I am almost done, with EVERYTHING!!  Almost!

I wanted to share a fun popcorn recipe because, candy covered popcorn is one of my favorites and I have never tried making it at home.  I tried it, it is a dream, and frankly, I have no intention of sharing my stash.  You are going to have to make your own!

You may notice the recipe calls for M&M's and sprinkles, however, oddly, you can't see any in the photo.  Every. Single. Photo was the same.  I can't believe I didn't realize they all fell to the bottom but I don't think they did!  I don't know what happened!  Food blogger photo failure!  Just trust me!!

This is easy, and you will love it.  It is festive and a nice snack to just keep in a bowl to nibble on!  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did and make sure to make a little extra popcorn, you may prefer it with more!!

You will need:
16-18 cups of popcorn  (I used regular old fashioned popcorn)

To do it the old fashioned way, in case you are to young to remember!!  Add 3 tbsp. oil (veg, peanut, or canola) into a LARGE pot with a lid.  Add in 3/4 cup of popcorn, put the lid on and wait for the first pop.  Using hot pads or oven mitts, keep one hand on the lid and gently move the pot around until the pop slows to almost a stop.  Turn off the burner and move the pot off the stove and let sit 5 minutes.  In this case, until cool. 

If you are using microwave popcorn I am guessing you would need a good 6 bags.  But try it the old fashioned way, come on, just do it!

For the rest of the recipe you will need:
2 boxes of red jello, your choice of flavor (sm. 3-3.4 oz. size)
1/2 cup butter
6 T light corn syrup
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
red food coloring
1/2 cup assorted Christmas sprinkles
1/2-1 cup M&Ms
1/4 cup melted white chocolate (I tinted mine red) optional!

After you have placed 16 cups of popcorn into a large bowl, make sure to line a large cookie sheet (or 2) with parchment paper and set aside.  Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.

Now, melt the butter and syrup in a saucepan over pretty low heat.  When the butter is melted add sugar and gelatin (jello) and bring to a boil over medium heat. At this point add in a bit of red food coloring, I don't like faded colors!  You can choose to leave it out, but bright colors ROCK!  Reduce your heat and let simmer about 4-5 minutes, stirring almost constantly.

Now CAREFULLY pour the syrup over the bowl of popcorn.  Stir like a fool, while the syrup is still hot, get the popcorn covered. If you feel you need more popcorn, add it now and stir.  It is just to your personal preference. 

Now pour your popcorn out unto your lined cookie sheet(s) and smooth into an even layer like this.

Bake for 10 minutes, HOWEVER, after 5 minutes, remove pans and give it a careful toss, replace into the oven and bake another 5 minutes.

When it is done, remove, and sprinkle on 1/2 cup assorted Christmas sprinkles, and 1/2 cup (or more) of Christmas M&Ms. Now is the time to drizzle over any white chocolate if you choose!!  I colored mine red!  Let cool completely, break it up into pieces and enjoy!!  Keep covered in an airtight container to keep fresh and crunchy!


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