Peppermint Bark Popcorn

Pop up a batch of Peppermint Bark Popcorn—that alluring mix of salty and sweet (and mint)—any time of year.

Peppermint Bark Popcorn

Every Christmas my mom would make up a batch of candy cane and chocolate popcorn. She didn’t call it Peppermint Bark Popcorn back then. Maybe the name hadn’t been conjured and assigned yet. Or maybe the trademark legislature was shockingly strict for a holiday snack. Who knows. In any case, she would package it in little cellophane bags for me to deliver to our neighbors. As payment, she would reserve for me a bowl (no puny bag for this kid!) for when I returned. It was as much a part of the holidays as presents and stop-motion Rudolph.

Then a funny thing happened. One summer day, as a teenager, I got a craving for candy cane and chocolate popcorn. What was I to do? I couldn’t eat Christmas treats in the summer, could I? Would I still be expected to deliver some of what I made to the neighbors? Where would I get candy canes in July??? The answers, in order, were: Make the candy cane and chocolate popcorn. Yes, I could eat a Christmas treat in the summer. No, I wouldn’t be expected to share, though it would be a nice gesture. Any hard mint candy would suffice.

These days I have what would be known in popcorn circles as Peppermint Bark Popcorn any day of the week (and twice on Sundays). And with this recipe, you can, too. Whether you share with your neighbors is up to you, though it truly would be a nice gesture.

Can I make the popcorn in other ways?

Sick of standing at your stove? Want to stand somewhere else in your kitchen? Who doesn’t! Mosey on over to your Instant Pot and follow this recipe for Instant-Pot popcorn. I’ll have you know the Instant Pot is this generation’s microwave. Speaking of which, if you’re a member of the previous generation (like me) or you don’t have the Instant Pot, you can still make your popcorn in the microwave with this simple recipe. Or you can use your air fryer and do up your popcorn there. An air fryer is kinda like an old-school air popper anyway, right? No matter which method you use, get your oven cranked—that’s where the second stage of this recipe takes place.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 4 standard-sized peppermint candy canes finely crushed (about 1/3 cup)
  • flaky finishing salt (optional topping)
Peppermint Bark Popcorn

How to Make Peppermint Bark Popcorn

Step 1: Line a large jelly-roll pan with parchment paper for easy cleanup.

Peppermint Bark Popcorn

Step 2: In a large, heavy-bottomed pan with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat. Add 2 popcorn kernels and cover.

Peppermint Bark Popcorn

Step 3: Once the test kernels pop, add the rest of the popcorn kernels. Shake the pot to distribute them evenly and cook, slightly ajar, until the popping slows down.

Peppermint Bark Popcorn

Step 4: Transfer the popped popcorn to the prepared pan, season with sea salt, and remove any unpopped kernels.

Peppermint Bark Popcorn

Step 5: Place candy canes in a plastic bag, cover with a towel, and crush using a rolling pin or hammer.

Peppermint Bark Popcorn

Step 6: Use a double boiler or microwave to melt the chocolate chips until smooth, stirring frequently.

Peppermint Bark Popcorn

Step 7: Drizzle melted chocolate over popcorn, sprinkle with crushed candy canes and optional salt, then chill in the refrigerator until set.

FAQs & Tips

How do I store peppermint bark popcorn?

I usually store my popcorn in brown paper bags or Ziploc bags in the pantry for up to three days. If you’re giving this as a Christmas gift, might I suggest little cellophane bags with cute red-and-green bows to fasten them? You can also store the popcorn in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. This will prevent the chocolate from melting, too. You may want to store the popcorn away from the bottom or back of your fridge, as moisture tends to gather in these locales (moisture could turn your popcorn soggy).

What if I don’t have a jelly-roll pan?

If you don’t have one, don’t worry about it. You won’t be tasked with rolling any batter in this recipe. Or jelly, for that matter. A shallow baking tray will do fine. Just line it with parchment paper for easy cleanup. The important thing is, your tray has some depth so the popcorn can’t just roll off, and it is large enough to accommodate all the popcorn in one layer.

What is a double boiler?

Melting chocolate is tricky. One false move and you’ve burned it. That’s why double boiling exists. It involves boiling water in a pot on the stove then setting a heatproof bowl on the pot. You’ll want to use a bowl that fits snugly so that the steam doesn’t escape, as it is that steam that will melt your chocolate, which you should now place in said bowl. The advantage of this method is that the chocolate is exposed to direct heat, so the risk of burning is mitigated.

Peppermint Bark Popcorn

Other popcorn recipes to try

I love this recipe, though I admit, it may be more involved than what you could be in the mood for. With that in mind, here are a few other popcorn recipes you can try, some basic, some exotic. First is your typical Buttered Popcorn. It’s a classic for a reason. The next recipe is less about the ingredients and more about the method: Instant Pot Popcorn. For the slightly more exotic, we turn our attentions south of the border for this Taco Popcorn. Then it’s back Stateside for something salty and sweet: Salted Caramel Popcorn.

Peppermint Bark Popcorn
Peppermint Bark Popcorn

Peppermint Bark Popcorn

No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 252 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 4 standard-sized peppermint candy canes finely crushed (about 1/3 cup)
  • Maldon salt or flaky finishing salt optional

Instructions
 

  • Line a large jelly roll pan with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
    Peppermint Bark Popcorn
  • In a large, heavy-bottomed pan with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat. Add 2 popcorn kernels and cover.
    Peppermint Bark Popcorn
  • Once the test kernels pop, add the rest of the popcorn kernels. Shake the pot to distribute them evenly and cook, slightly ajar, until the popping slows down.
    Peppermint Bark Popcorn
  • Transfer the popped popcorn to the prepared pan, season with sea salt, and remove any unpopped kernels.
    Peppermint Bark Popcorn
  • Place candy canes in a plastic bag, cover with a towel, and crush using a rolling pin or hammer.
    Peppermint Bark Popcorn
  • Use a double boiler or microwave to melt the chocolate chips until smooth, stirring frequently.
    Peppermint Bark Popcorn
  • Drizzle melted chocolate over popcorn, sprinkle with crushed candy canes and optional salt, then chill in the refrigerator until set.

Nutrition

Calories: 252kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 4gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0.3mgSodium: 33mgPotassium: 227mgFiber: 3gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 3IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 92mgIron: 1mg
Keyword chocolate, peppermint, peppermint bark popcorn, popcorn
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating