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.
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!
Peppermint Bark Popcorn
Recipe by Our Best Bites
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 🙂
Honestly, this is one of my favorite Christmas treats. People will love you after you drop this off on their doorstep!