Monday, February 22, 2010

Peppermint Bark Popcorn

I saw a very yummy looking treat last Christmas here, who saw it here.  I decided to make a couple batches and give out to friends and take a bunch home to my parent’s house for Christmas.  1 day after I got there, their neighbors brought over ANOTHER giant zip-loc bag of the stuff.  Needless to say, we had it coming out our ears…and it was so super delicious!!

Peppermint Bark Popcorn 
16-20 C popped popcorn (fresh, or about 2 bags microwave popcorn) 
1 lb Almond Bark 
1 6oz box candy canes, crushed. (About 1-1 1/2 C total and Bob's are the best!) 
2 tea. peppermint extract 
3/4 C semi-sweet chocolate chips 


Get two adorable assistants to aid you in all things,

including dropping marble rolling pin onto slate floor, creating a bad day.

Place popcorn in a very large mixing bowl.
Unwrap the candy canes and crush them.  It is the most labor intensive step of this easy treat, so you can do that ahead of time if you want too. Our Best Bites advised putting the candy canes in a large zip-lock bag and have a whack with a heavy marble rolling pin. I tried this and was unsuccessful.  So I took a meat tenderizer to them.  That did the trick! 

Once they're crushed, dump them into the bowl with the popcorn. 

To melt the almond bark, follow the instructions on the package.  I created a “double boiler” with a pot full of water and a bowl placed on top.

When your almond bark is melted, add the peppermint extract. It will seize a little bit (get kind of lumpy) but it's totally fine. Pour over popcorn and candy canes. 
Stir it up really well until the candy is evenly distributed. Pour the popcorn out onto a piece of waxed paper, parchment, or foil. Spread it out into an even layer, or layers, as the case may be.

Take a chili break.


After chili is devoured, place chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals until melted and smooth. 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, they suggest to 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.

While you’re putting it into little zip-locs, so a funky little dance, look over to see your husband taking a picture of you and get really embarrassed.

Yeah, go ahead and leave that last step out.
I did find that the candy canes were pretty hard and gave you that “oh man I think I just chipped a tooth on a popcorn kernel” kind of feeling.  What I liked better than the candy canes were those peppermint butter mints, you know the ones.  Thy kind of dissolve in your mouth?  Like wedding mints but they’re big and white and red?  Yeah, those.  Much yummy.  

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