After I did my Monster Munch back in October, I heard from several people that they had eaten something similar, but with candy canes in it.  I was thinking about doing peppermint bark this week, and the thought of combining the two together gave me warm fuzzies.I think this might be the perfect Christmas treat because:1. It’s yummy.2. It’s e.a.s.y. So easy! And quick too.3. Just one batch makes enough to fill up lots of goodie bags.

4. It packs well. It’s dry and in small pieces, so it’s perfect for filling any type of container, or throwing it in a big bowl for a party.

5. Did I mention it’s yummy?

Also, I am quite the connoisseur of candy canes, and in my educated opinion, Bob’s brand rocks. Seriously.  I’m not being paid to say that.  Just please don’t use Spangler brand, they have a really strange flavor and texture.

(you’ll need twice the amout of almond bark shown, I just made a half-batch for pictures)

Unwrapping the candy canes to crush them is the most labor intensive step of this easy treat, so you can do that ahead of time if you want to. I put my candy canes in a large zip-lock bag and have a whack with a heavy marble rolling pin or my meat mallet.  Put your bag on top of a kitchen towel to make it easier.

Once they’re crushed, dump them in a big bowl with some popcorn.  You can use airpopped, or microwaved popcorn, but if you use microwaved try to find a “natural” or lightly salted kind.  This looks much prettier when it’s not bright yellow, and the heavily buttered kind masks out the great flavors.  Light salt is just fine though.

Next, you’ll just melt some almond bark (which you can find near the chocolate chips, it’s a big block that looks and tastes like white chocolate.  There are absolutely no nuts in almond bark; some people think there is because of the name.  It’s just like white chocolate.)  and add either peppermint extract or peppermint oil to it.  The extract sometimes causes it to seize up (get lumpy) and that’s okay.  Just stir quickly and dump it over the popcorn.  Stir everything until it’s well coated and then pour it out onto a piece of waxed paper, parchment, or foil. Spread it out into an even layer and leave it alone!

While the popcorn is setting, place chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals until melted and smooth. I really like dark chocolate to counter-balance the sweetness of the almond bark, but I know there’s a lot of dark haters, so do what you want!
Drizzle the melted chocolate over the popcorn. You can use a fork, or put it in a zip-lock bag with the corner cut off.
Leave it until the almond bark and the chocolate is hardened. If you need to hurry it up, do this whole process on lined cookie sheets you can pop in the fridge.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 :)

Honestly, this is one of my favorite Christmas treats.  People will love you after you drop this off on their doorstep!

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