One of the things I knew I wanted to try this year was to make “popcorn bark”, which is when you coat popcorn with white or milk chocolate and add mix-ins into it. I had one particular recipe I wanted to try. It was Pampered Chef’s Peppermint Popcorn Crunch Bark. Once I decided I was going to make it I realized they had several other variations and I decided to make 5 different kinds. I made Peppermint, Choco Peanut Butter, Coconut Macadamia, Chocolate Chunk Cookie, and Double Chocolate mint. All of them were amazing good. I am going to give you the secret and the recipes.
The main ingredients shared by all the variations of popcorn crunch bark are popcorn and crushed pretzels
Start by popping the popcorn and crunching up your pretzels. For each variation you make you will want to pop one bag of popcorn and crush about 1 cup of pretzels.
Then, you add your melted vanilla or chocolate bark. About 12 oz. for each kind you are making. The directions to melt your chocolate or vanilla bark are going to be on the package. I just microwaved mine for about 2.5 minutes-ish, checking it every 15 seconds after 1.5 minutes.
Helpful hint: You must have enough of the chocolate bark or the stuff won’t stick together well, and you must add your mix-ins quickly after the chocolate has been poured onto the popcorn so it doesn’t cool and harden on you. Spread your popcorn out on a big piece of parchment paper once everything is mixed really well. This will prevent big globs forming.
The secret to doing more than one kind at a time without the chocolate getting hardened is this to prepare everything in advance. Mix up the popcorn and pretzels in a big bowl. Have all of the mix-ins crushed and ready to go in smaller bowls and have your parchment paper out on the table or counter. Melt and mix the chocolate into the the big bowl and then evenly disperse the popcorn mixture into each smaller bowl, mixing in the extra mix-ins. Spread one bowl at a time onto parchment paper and let cool. It will harden as it cools.
Here are the two kinds of Popcorn Crunch Bark I made using vanilla (white) bark:
Coconut Macadamia: (my nine year old’s fave)
11/2 cups toasted sweetened coconut
1 cup lightly salted, macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup blue candy coated chocolate pieces
Peppermint: (my personal fave)
7 large candy canes or 20 peppermint hard candies, coarsely crushed
1 cup red & green candy coated chocolate pieces
Here are the 3 kinds of Popcorn Crunch Bark I made with chocolate bark:
Choco-Peanut Butter: (my husband’s fave)
1 cup lightly salted, dry roasted peanuts
1 cup peanut butter morsels
Chocolate Chunk Cookie (my two youngest kid’s fave)
8 chocolate chunk cookies, coarsely crushed
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
Double Chocolate mint (My dad’s fave… If you like Girl Scouts thin mint cookies you will LOVE this one!)
8 fudge covered mint cookies (like grasshopper cookies), coarsely crushed
1 cup mint chocolate chips and dark chocolate chips
And then, wrap it up!
When you are done making the kind of popcorn you’d like you can put some in cute Christmas-y tins or cute little bags with a ribbon and gift some away! Here are a couple of cute ideas I found on Amazon, but you can get these just about everywhere this time of year…