(Family Features) Among the many enchanting elements of the holiday season, the family traditions and familiar flavors of favorite foods enjoyed year after year bring loved ones together better than perhaps any other occasion. From decorating wreaths and trees to crafting ornaments and preparing classic recipes, it’s a season of cherishing memories and creating new ones.
While there are countless ingredients that harken to the taste of holidays past, there’s one sweet favorite that truly symbolizes the season: peppermint. Whether enjoyed in the familiar shape of a candy cane – the original kid-favorite – or added to recipes from beverages to desserts and everything in between, it’s a delicious way to connect generations.
For example, these Jingle Balls provide a perfect kid-friendly project to keep them busy rolling popcorn balls in sparkling colored sugar for bite-size bits of holiday magic. They’re equal parts holiday spirit and sweet appetizer, snack or dessert. Just be sure to have an adult melt together the butter, marshmallows and peppermint extract before letting little ones show off their creativity.
White Chocolate Peppermint Popcorn Bark offers another way for everyone to get in on the fun. The taste of peppermint and white chocolate make this a perfect holiday treat for sharing with a crowd. Plus, the easy prep means less time in the kitchen and more time savoring the classic flavors.
Better yet, it makes for a delicious gift to send off with guests as another festive celebration comes to a close. Simply package in a small, clear bag tied off with a colorful bow so loved ones can enjoy the tastes of the season in the days to follow.
These favorites are made possible by the versatility of popcorn, one of America’s most beloved snack foods. Celebrated for its seed-to-snack simplicity, popcorn’s smell, taste and versatility mean it can enhance any occasion as a budget-friendly solution for family gatherings.
Discover more delicious holiday snacks at popcorn.org.
Yield: 12 cups
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 12 cups popped popcorn
- 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 3 cups mini marshmallows
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- assorted colored sugars
- Lightly spray large mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Add popcorn.
- Spread plastic wrap on cookie sheet; set aside.
- In medium saucepan, melt butter and marshmallows; stir until mixture is smooth. Stir in peppermint extract. Pour over popcorn, mixing until well coated. Let cool 2 minutes.
- Spray hands with cooking spray and form popcorn mixture into 3-inch balls. Gently press colored sugar onto balls. Let sit on prepared cookie sheet until cool and set.
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
- Cover baking pan with foil or wax paper; set aside.
- Place popcorn in large bowl; set aside.
- In double boiler over barely simmering water, melt chocolate, stirring until smooth, or melt according to package directions. Stir in crushed peppermints.
- Pour chocolate mixture over popcorn mixture and stir to coat. Spread onto prepared pan; cool completely.
- When chocolate is cooled and set, break into chunks for serving.
- Store in airtight container at room temperature.
Source: Popcorn Board