Holiday Fun with a Joyful Pop

Posted 11/27/22

(Family Features)

Consider these simple seasonal ways you can let popcorn fuel your holiday adventures in recipes like Cranberry Popcorn Balls, Gingersnap Popcorn Snack Mix, White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn Bark and Easy, Elegant Holiday Popcorn.

This story requires a subscription for $5.99/month.

Already have an account? Log in to continue.

Current print subscribers can create a free account by clicking here.

Otherwise, click here to subscribe.

To Our Valued Readers –

Visitors to our website will be limited to five stories per month unless they opt to subscribe. The five stories do not include our exclusive content written by our journalists.

For $5.99, less than 20 cents a day, digital subscribers will receive unlimited access to YourValley.net, including exclusive content from our newsroom and access to our Daily Independent e-edition.

Our commitment to balanced, fair reporting and local coverage provides insight and perspective not found anywhere else.

Your financial commitment will help to preserve the kind of honest journalism produced by our reporters and editors. We trust you agree that independent journalism is an essential component of our democracy. Please click here to subscribe.

Sincerely,
Charlene Bisson, Publisher, Independent Newsmedia

Please log in to continue

Log in
I am anchor

Holiday Fun with a Joyful Pop

Posted

(Family Features) With countless ways to enjoy the holiday season from decorating and hosting parties to wintertime activities, it’s a perfect time to bring family and friends together for some festive fun. One simple ingredient can be your go-to for just about any tradition: popcorn, which is an inexpensive, versatile, whole grain that makes holiday occasions better.

Consider these simple seasonal ways you can let popcorn fuel your holiday adventures.

Decorate

Strings of popcorn and cranberries add a nostalgic touch to the family tree while making popcorn trees adds whimsy to the table. Before stringing popcorn, let it sit out for a day or two as freshly popped popcorn may be too fragile to thread without breaking. Push a threaded needle through the center of each kernel then pull the kernel to the end of the knotted thread, adding an occasional cranberry, if desired. Festive trees can be made using popcorn mixed with melted marshmallows then shaped and finished with sprinkles.

Give It as a Gift

If it’s your turn to host this year’s holiday party, popcorn makes for a perfect party favor. Pop up a delicious treat like these Cranberry Popcorn Balls, place them in pretty jars or neatly wrap them then finish each with a bow. For an added touch, include the recipe instructions and popcorn kernels in a separate container so your guests can make it at home.

Enjoy It as a Snack

Freshly popped popcorn is a simple and delicious snack to share after a day of shopping, caroling, sledding or decorating. You can take the holiday season up a notch with creative recipes like Gingersnap Popcorn Snack Mix, White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn Bark and Easy, Elegant Holiday Popcorn. These treats are perfect for popping up in the morning so the snacks are ready once guests arrive.

Visit Popcorn.org to find more sweet, salty and savory holiday recipe ideas.

Gingersnap Popcorn Snack Mix

Yield: 2 quarts

  • 2 quarts popped popcorn
  • butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar substitute
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black or white pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. Spread popcorn on baking sheet and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In small bowl, combine sugar substitute, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and freshly ground pepper; sprinkle evenly over popcorn.
  4. Spray again with nonstick cooking spray and toss to coat evenly.
  5. Bake 7 minutes and serve warm.

Easy, Elegant Holiday Popcorn

Yield: 8 cups

  • 8 cups popped popcorn
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • candy sprinkles
  1. On serving platter, spread popcorn in thin layer.
  2. Over double boiler or in microwave, melt milk chocolate chips. Drizzle over popcorn.
  3. Over double boiler or in microwave, melt white chocolate chips. Drizzle over popcorn.
  4. Sprinkle candy sprinkles over warm, chocolate-coated popcorn. Allow drizzles to set until firm.

White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn Bark

Yield: 1 pound

  • 5 cups popped popcorn
  • 12 ounces white chocolate baking chips, chopped white chocolate or white candy coating
  • 1 cup crushed hard candy peppermints
  1. Cover baking pan with foil or wax paper; set aside.
  2. Place popcorn in large bowl; set aside.
  3. In double boiler over barely simmering water, melt chocolate, stirring until smooth, or melt according to package directions.
  4. Stir in crushed peppermints after chocolate is melted. Pour chocolate mixture over popcorn mixture and stir to coat. Spread onto prepared pan; cool completely.
  5. When chocolate is cooled and set, break into chunks for serving.
  6. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

Cranberry Popcorn Balls

Yield: 18 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
  1. In heavy saucepan, combine sugar, cranberry sauce, orange peel, cranberry juice, corn syrup, vinegar and salt. Bring to boil; lower heat and cook to 250 F on candy thermometer.
  2. Mixture will bubble in pan; watch to keep from boiling over.
  3. Pour slowly onto hot popcorn and 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.