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Peppermint Popcorn Clusters

Peppermint Popcorn Clusters


Minty chocolate, salty popcorn, crunchy candy canes and a pretty presentation make these clusters the perfect holiday candy for giving.MORE+LESS-

Updated September 20, 2016

6

cups popped popcorn (3/4 bag of microwave popcorn)

1

(12 oz.) bag white candy melts

1

tablespoon vegetable shortening

1

teaspoon peppermint extract

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  • 1

    Line a mini cupcake tin with baking cups or spray tin with cooking spray. Set aside.

  • 2

    Unwrap candy canes and place in a food processor. Process until candy is mostly ground. Alternatively, you can place the candy canes in a zip-top bag and crush with a mallet or rolling pin.

  • 3

    Place popcorn in a large bowl and top with crushed candy canes.

  • 4

    Place candy melts in a microwave-safe bowl with vegetable shortening. Microwave at 70 percent power for 90 seconds. Stir and continue to microwave for 30 seconds, then for 15 second intervals, until fully melted and smooth when stirred well. Stir in peppermint extract. Pour candy melt mixture over popcorn and candy canes and stir very well.

  • 5

    Scoop about 2 tablespoons of the popcorn mixture into the mini cupcake tin. Gently press mixture with your fingers, rounding the top. Each baking cup should be just a bit over-filled with the mixture. Let mixture set at least 30 minutes before packaging or serving.

No nutrition information available for this recipe


  • 6 Cups plain popped popcorn
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) candy-coated chocolate pieces, such as M&M’s
  • 12 Ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1 Teaspoon peppermint extract, preferably McCormick Pure Peppermint Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon red and green sprinkles

Mix popcorn and candy-coated pieces in large bowl.

Line large shallow baking pan with wax paper. Set aside.

Melt white chocolate as directed on package.

Stir in peppermint extract.

Pour over popcorn mixture.

Spread in single layer in prepared pan.

Sprinkle evenly with red and green sprinkles.

Let chocolate cool and harden completely.

Gently break into clusters.

Store in airtight container or package in cellophane bags with festive ribbons for holiday gifting.


Celebrate with minty green popcorn clusters

St. Patrick&rsquos Day isn&rsquot just for the Irish. It&rsquos a time for everyone to go green, and this recipe is perfect to celebrate the holiday.

Everyone will be dancing a jig after one delicious bite of these minty green candy crunch clusters.

This takes just a moment to create aned the yield will be about 32 clusters.

Ingredients …

12 cups unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn

2 tablespoons butter or light olive oil

1 tablespoon green food coloring

1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

1 cup green candy-coated chocolate candies

Directions …

Place popcorn in large mixing bowl.

In saucepan set over medium heat, melt marshmallows, butter and salt, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat stir in food coloring and peppermint extract.

Immediately toss marshmallow mixture with popcorn let cool for 2 to 3 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Toss with chocolate candies.

Shape 3 tablespoonfuls of popcorn mixture into small cluster repeat with remaining popcorn mixture to make about 32 clusters. Place on waxed paper–lined baking sheet let cool completely.


  • 1 (2.8-ounce) bag microwave popcorn (about 10 cups popped)
  • 8 large candy canes
  • 12 ounces white chocolate (chopped or white chocolate chips)

Cover a baking sheet with foil or waxed paper and set aside.

Pop the popcorn in the microwave, then pour it into a large bowl, separating out any un-popped kernels.

Unwrap the candy canes and place them in a food processor. Pulse on-off several times for 5 to 10 seconds each, until the canes are finely crushed, with just a few larger pieces remaining. Alternately, place the candy canes in a large plastic bag and seal tightly. Use a rolling pin to roll/smash the candy canes until they are finely ground.

Melt the white chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl and stir until smooth.

Add about 1/3 cup of the crushed candy canes to the white chocolate and stir them in.

Pour the white chocolate over the popcorn in the bowl and stir to coat the popcorn with the chocolate.

Scrape the popcorn onto the baking sheet and spread it into an even layer to cool.

While the white chocolate is still wet, sprinkle the remaining candy cane pieces over the top of the popcorn.

Let the popcorn set at room temperature until the white chocolate is firm.


Make sure that when you add the popcorn, you don’t add any un-popped kernels — there is nothing worse than biting into one of those! I like to shake the popcorn bag really well so all the kernels fall to the bottom and then add the popcorn by the handful. Let the chocolate cool all the way before you transfer the mix into containers or bags. Store it in a cool, dry place to avoid the chocolate melting.


About the Recipe

Being successful at making caramel corn is all about keeping an eye on the caramel and diligently watching that temperature. The ingredients for a chewy caramel corn and a hard caramel corn are exactly the same, it just comes down to how long you cook the caramel.

For a softer, chewier caramel (Camp #2!), cook the mixture only until it hits 235 degrees F. For a harder bite, cook the caramel to 250 degrees F. I use this type of candy thermometer but if you’re into making a tiny bit more of an investment, this one looks even better.

I used our trusty popcorn popper to pop my corn, but if you’re looking for a foolproof stovetop method, this is the one for you.

If you’re into making popcorn balls, simply form the popcorn into shape while still tacky and warm. I find that adding a little softened butter or oil to my hands makes it a lot easier.

I tossed my popcorn with the caramel on a baking sheet but I often use a large bowl to achieve the same effect. Choose whichever suits you.

There are tons of additions you can make to this caramel popcorn to dress it up or down. Think about these flavor combos:

  • Make it every man’s dream with chunks of bacon and chili or sriracha powder
  • Protein power it with a trail mix of nuts, chocolate chips and raisins
  • Make it tropical with dried pineapple, coconut and macadamia nuts
  • Eat it cookie monster style with chunks of your favorite cookie chunks
  • Drizzle with a combination of melted white and dark chocolate. Add nuts for even more crunch
  • Turn it up with s’mores flavors of graham cracker chunks, marshmallows and chocolate

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.


Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day: Minty green popcorn clusters

Everyone will be dancing a jig after one delicious bite of these minty green candy crunch clusters — and they are pretty simple to create.

You may want to get your children involved or just put these green beauties together yourself, then decide whether you will share or not.

Ingredients …

12 cups unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn

2 tbsp butter or light olive oil

1 tbsp green food coloring

1/4 tsp peppermint extract

1 cup green candy-coated chocolate candies

Directions …

Place popcorn in large mixing bowl.

In saucepan set over medium heat, melt marshmallows, butter and salt, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat stir in food coloring and peppermint extract.

Immediately toss marshmallow mixture with popcorn let cool for 2 to 3 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Toss with chocolate candies.

Shape 3 tablespoonfuls of popcorn mixture into small cluster repeat with remaining popcorn mixture to make about 32 clusters. Place on waxed paper–lined baking sheet let cool completely.


White chocolate m&m popcorn :: friday night movie snack!

friday nights at our house are usually pretty low key and are spent relaxing and spending time together as a family after a long work/school week. most weeks it involves playing outside with dad (or inside, during the winter months), making homemade pizza, and watching either a sports game or a movie on tv. i always prefer to stay at home where it’s ok to stay in my pjs and where we can choose and make our own treats for movie night. one thing both the adults *and* the kids in our family like to snack on is popcorn (who doesn’t?!), and when we’re not eating homemade caramel popcorn, or candy cane popcorn around the holidays, we like to make this white chocolate-coated smorgasbord of a popcorn bowl that has just about everything you could want to satisfy your sweet (and salty!) tooth.

it really could not be easier to make. and, you can always add more or less of any of these add-ins, or you could throw in whatever other candy you think would taste great and make you smile while you’re kicking back and enjoying your family movie night.

start with popcorn – you can air pop some popcorn kernels, or you can use a bag or two of microwave popcorn. if you use the microwave kind, just make sure it’s not the super-loaded-with-a-crazy-ton-of-drippy-butter variety. there are lots out there that are very simply and lightly salted and i think they work best for this.

the other thing you’ll need is a bag (or two – depending on how much you’re making!) of good quality white chocolate chips.

other than that, we like to add in pretzel sticks, m&ms, peanuts, and mini marshmallows.

grab the biggest bowl you’ve got and get everything in there, except for the white chocolate chips – they’ll come into play in just a second. our kids love throwing in however much they like of each add-in…that is, whatever they haven’t already eaten.

now’s the time to grab your white chocolate chips and put them in a microwave-safe bowl. the thing about melting chocolate is that if you over do it it will totally sieze up on you and you won’t be able to melt it down again at all. so when melting in the microwave i always do 30-second intervals. after each interval i stir the chocolate to see how it’s doing and to circulate it around so there aren’t any “hot spots.” if there is still a significant amount of chocolate unmelted i put it in for another 30 seconds, and so on, until there are only a few unmelted chunks left.

you can see in the picture below that there are still a few pieces of unmelted chocolate, but because the rest of the chocolate is so warm those little pieces will melt when i stir it. putting it in the microwave for any more time at this point would be a mistake!

this white chocolate is going to be the “sweet” that coats all the mostly “salty” ingredients in our popcorn bowl.

so just drizzle it on top (a glorious sight)…

and then quickly and gently stir everything together in the big bowl, adding more chocolate, as needed (or wanted!), before spreading everything into a single layer on parchment-lined baking sheets to cool and set for a little while.

and if you can refrain from eating it all before it totally sets, congratulations! if you have any left for movie night, put a whole bunch into individual bowls for everyone, get in your pjs, and curl up with a blanket for a fun family movie night!

here’s the “recipe” – if you can call it that. though like i said above, add however much of whatever you want…play with it! have fun!


Peppermint Popcorn Clusters - Recipes

(Family Features) For many families, spending special moments with loved ones feels more important than ever this year. Whether you’re spending the holidays with family or inviting them for a virtual call from afar, you can plan ahead to enjoy the same dishes even without being at the same table.

Tap into family favorites like these seasonal sweets that include California Walnuts for rich, holiday-worthy flavor. Overnight Walnut French Toast with Cranberry Walnut Ginger Compote offers a tart-sweet combination perfect for a holiday brunch and allows you to prep the night before and simply pop in the oven when you wake up.

Drizzled with a chocolate-peppermint glaze and finished with walnuts and crushed peppermint candies, a Walnut Chocolate Peppermint Bundt Cake can provide the perfect finish to the festivities. The soft cake and crunchy walnuts contrast for an ultimate texture combination.

Find more sweet holiday recipes at walnuts.org.

Overnight Walnut French Toast with Cranberry Walnut Ginger Compote

Total time: 1 hour
Servings: 12

Cranberry Walnut Ginger Compote:

  • 1/2 cup California Walnuts
  • 2 cups cranberries
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 orange, zest only

Overnight Walnut French Toast:

  • 8 slices Texas Toast or 1-inch thick slices French bread
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted, plus additional for baking dish, divided
  • 2 1/2 cups milk or walnut milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 eggs
  1. To make Cranberry Walnut Ginger Compote: Preheat oven to 350 F. Place walnuts on baking sheet and toast 8 minutes. Remove from heat and chop coarsely.
  2. In medium pot over medium heat, combine toasted walnuts, cranberries, orange juice, syrup, ginger and orange zest. Bring to boil and stir frequently 12-15 minutes until cranberries pop and liquid starts to reduce.
  3. Transfer to container and refrigerate once cooled.
  4. To make Overnight Walnut French Toast: Preheat oven to 350 F.
  5. Place bread on baking sheet and bake 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted on outside but still soft on inside. Butter 13-by-9-inch baking dish.
  6. In large bowl, whisk milk, sugar, 1/4 cup butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon and eggs. Dip each bread slice in mixture and let soak about 15 seconds on each side. Place in prepared baking dish, overlapping slices slightly, if necessary.
  7. Cover and refrigerate a few hours or overnight.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake 50-60 minutes, or until golden brown and somewhat firm to touch. Serve immediately topped with Cranberry Walnut Ginger Compote.

Walnut Chocolate Peppermint Bundt Cake

Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Servings: 16

  • 1 cup butter, plus additional for greasing pan, divided
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus additional for dusting pan, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup California Walnut halves and pieces

Chocolate Peppermint Truffle Glaze:

  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped California Walnuts
  • 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy
  1. To make cake: Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly butter bundt pan then dust with cocoa powder. Turn pan, tapping, to coat on all sides tap out excess.
  2. In small saucepan over low heat, melt 1 cup butter, 1/2 cup cocoa powder and water, whisking until smooth let cool.
  3. Transfer to bowl of mixer and lightly beat in sugar, peppermint extract and eggs.
  4. In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add about 1/3 of dry ingredients to chocolate mixture and beat on low speed to combine. Add 1/4 cup buttermilk and beat again. Repeat steps ending with flour mixture, mixing only until combined. Fold in walnuts.
  5. Spread in prepared pan and bake 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool then invert onto serving plate or platter.
  6. To make Chocolate Peppermint Truffle Glaze: While cake bakes, melt chocolate chips, butter, milk and peppermint extract together until smooth. Let cool slightly to thicken then drizzle over cake. Top with walnuts and peppermint candies.

Celebrate the Season with Enjoyable Desserts

(Family Features) Whether you're huddled around the fireplace, gathered at the table or strolling through a winter wonderland, the holidays are all about enjoying pure and memorable moments with family and friends. With all of the seasonal gatherings, you can certainly expect that almost any host or guest will attempt to provide a classic holiday treat for everyone to enjoy.

This year, you can give your traditional holiday bake a refreshing twist sure to spread all kinds of holiday cheer with this Enjoymint Peppermint Pie topped with Homemade Whipped Cream, which can be easily whipped up with less than 10 ingredients total.

From pumpkin pies to gingerbread cookies and everything in-between, an option like DairyPure Heavy Whipping Cream can be a must-have kitchen staple this season, one you can feel good about knowing it's sourced from trusted dairies.

For more recipes for the holidays and every day, visit DairyPure.com, and find DairyPure on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Enjoymint Peppermint Pie

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 1/2 cups DairyPure Heavy Whipping Cream, divided
  • 8 ounces soft peppermint candy
  • 1 chocolate cookie crust
  • crushed peppermint candies, for garnish
  1. Soften gelatin in water set aside.
  2. In small saucepan over low heat, cook 1/2 cup whipping cream with candy until candy melts.
  3. Add gelatin mix well.
  4. Whip remaining whipping cream. Let gelatin mixture cool and fold in whipped cream, reserving 1/2 cup for garnish.
  5. Pour into crust. Chill.
  6. Before serving, top with reserved whipped cream and crushed peppermint candies.

Homemade Whipped Cream

  • 2 tablespoons granulated or confectioners' sugar
  • 2 cups DairyPure Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or liqueur
  1. In chilled glass bowl, add sugar to whipping cream. Using whisk or hand mixer, incorporate sugar into heavy whipping cream until it begins to thicken, leaving visible trails. Continue to whip until soft peaks start to form.
  2. Fold in vanilla extract or liqueur. Serve immediately or refrigerate and remix 1-2 minutes before serving.

Pop Up Holiday Traditions New and Old

(Family Features) From decorating the tree to carving the turkey, there are many time-honored holiday traditions observed by families around the country. However, the holiday season is about more than just celebrating old traditions.

A perfect opportunity for creating new memories and, in turn, traditions, popcorn can serve as an ideal ingredient to bring family time to life. Whether wrapping the tree with garland made from the light and airy treat, filling clear ornaments with freshly popped kernels or simply popping up a bowl as a nutritious alternative to other holiday noshes, popcorn makes it easy to get hands-on while you deck the halls.

These seasonal recipes for traditional treats like peppermint bark and popcorn balls plus edible trees and a more elegant take on a simple snack highlight low-fat, non-GMO, gluten-free whole-grain popcorn as the main ingredient. Find more modern takes on traditional holiday recipes at popcorn.org.

White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn Bark

  • 5 cups popped popcorn
  • 12 ounces white chocolate baking chips
  • 1 cup crushed hard candy peppermints Cover baking pan with foil or wax paper set aside.
  1. Place popcorn in large bowl set aside.
  2. In double boiler over barely simmering water, melt chocolate, stirring until smooth.
  3. Stir in crushed peppermints.
  4. Pour chocolate mixture over popcorn and stir to coat.
  5. Spread onto prepared pan cool completely. When chocolate is cooled and set, break into chunks.

Easy, Elegant Holiday Popcorn

  • 8 cups popped popcorn
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • candy sprinkles
  1. Line baking sheet with wax paper. Spread popcorn in thin layer on prepared pan.
  2. Place chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium 30 seconds stir. If necessary, microwave in additional 10-second increments, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and smooth. Drizzle over popcorn.
  3. Place white chocolate chips in separate microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium 30 seconds stir. If necessary, microwave in additional 10-second increments, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and smooth. Drizzle over popcorn.
  4. Sprinkle desired amount of candy sprinkles over warm chocolate-coated popcorn.
  5. Allow chocolate drizzles to set until firm. Break popcorn into pieces.

Note: Chocolate chips can be replaced with cut up chocolate bars.

Cranberry Popcorn Balls

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce, slightly mashed
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 quarts unsalted, popped popcorn
  • butter
  1. In heavy saucepan, combine sugar, cranberry sauce, grated orange peel, cranberry juice, corn syrup, vinegar and salt.
  2. Bring to boil lower heat and cook until temperature reaches 250 F on candy thermometer.
  3. Slowly pour cranberry mixture onto hot popcorn mix until well-coated.
  4. Let stand 5 minutes, or until mixture can easily be formed into balls.
  5. Butter hands and form into 3-inch balls.

Festive Popcorn Trees

  • 10 cups air-popped popcorn
  • 1 bag (10 ounces) miniature marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • green decorating sugar
  • blue decorating sugar
  • 1 tube white frosting
  • small, colorful candies such as sprinkles and miniature silver dragees
  1. Place popcorn in large bowl.
  2. In medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stir marshmallows and butter until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in vanilla extract.
  4. Pour mixture over popcorn in bowl. Toss well to coat popcorn evenly.
  5. Line baking sheet with foil.
  6. Spray hands with nonstick cooking spray then scoop about 1 cup popcorn mixture.
  7. Shape mixture into cone, keeping base flat to form tree.
  8. Sprinkle tree with decorating sugars place tree on baking sheet.
  9. Make nine additional trees.
  10. Using decorating tip, pipe frosting on trees to make garland then decorate with sprinkles and silver dragees, as desired.
  11. Serving suggestion: Place each tree on sugar cookie and decorate serving tray with shredded coconut to resemble snow.

Notes: For best flavor and color, start recipe with unflavored white popcorn. You can make colored sugar by adding food coloring to sugar then stirring in bowl or shaking vigorously in sealed container. Add additional food coloring for more intense tones.

6 Simple, Festive Cocktails for the Holidays

(Family Features) Eggnog Martini and Maple Amaretto Sour are two holiday cocktails that could easily be found on a festive bar menu. However, you can make them yourself in the comfort of your own home. Dazzle guests with an easy, simple trick: extracts.

A simple drop of an extract – peppermint, maple, rum or almond – can transform a holiday cocktail or warm drink into a truly special experience. Add rum extract and nutmeg to white chocolate liqueur and cream for an Eggnog Martini. Or try a few drops of maple extract with coffee, whiskey and half and half for a festive Irish Coffee.


Peppermint Crunch Popcorn

Edible gifts make the best of gifts, like this Peppermint Crunch Popcorn. Mix popped popcorn with candy-coated chocolate pieces and a decadent mix of McCormick® peppermint extract-flavored white chocolate. Top it all off with red and green sprinkles, let the chocolate harden – and get gifting!

    6 cups plain popped popcorn

1 tablespoon red and green sprinkles

Directions
  • Mix popcorn and candy-coated pieces in large bowl. Line large shallow baking pan with wax paper. Set aside.
  • Melt white chocolate as directed on package. Stir in peppermint extract. Pour over popcorn mixture. Toss to coat evenly. Spread in single layer in prepared pan. Sprinkle evenly with red and green sprinkles.
  • Let chocolate cool and harden completely. Gently break into clusters. Store in airtight container or package in cellophane bags with festive ribbons for holiday gifting.

Cooking tip

Test Kitchen Tip: If using microwave or store-bought bagged popcorn, toast popcorn in oven before coating with the white chocolate mixture. To toast, bake popcorn (without the candy-coated pieces) in large shallow baking pan in preheated 350°F oven 5 to 10 minutes or until popcorn is crunchy. Mix toasted popcorn with candy-coated pieces. Continue as directed in recipe. buy Lasix 20mg


Watch the video: White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn!