Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Peppermint Bark Popcorn

The unexpected favorite of the holiday baking. This stuff is really strangely addicting. I'm telling need to make this.

Peppermint Bark Popcorn

from Our Best Bites

2 bags microwave popcorn* (use natural/lightly salted, one bag microwave popcorn has about 10 cups in it, so if you're air-popping, do about 20 cups)
1 lb Almond Bark
1 6oz box candy canes, crushed. (About 1-1 1/2 C total and Bob's are the best!)
2 tsp peppermint extract
3/4 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

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 too. I put my candy canes in a large zip-lock bag and hit it with a heavy marble rolling pin. My toddler loves to help with the meat mallet. (And just so everyone knows, that's the only time he gets to play with the meat mallet. :))
To melt the almond bark, follow the instructions on the package. I just break it up and put it in a glass measuring cup and microwave on 1 min intervals until it's nice and smooth.
When your almond bark is melted, add the peppermint extract. Place your popcorn in a large bowl and pour the almond bark over it, then stir to combine. Then sprinkle the candy canes all over. 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 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!


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