Take the components of peppermint bark and toss it into sweet popcorn. Peppermint bark caramel popcorn is a great holiday treat to share with loved ones.
Growing up, the holiday season was synonymous with popcorn time.
We’d always have a few of those giant tins filled with an assortment of popcorn flavors from September through January.
Back in the 90s, there were three main flavors: butter, cheddar, and caramel.
It’s time for something more exciting and adventurous. Let’s snack on peppermint bark popcorn!
Peppermint Bark Popcorn
Peppermint bark is a delicious sweet treat consisting of chocolate, white chocolate, and chopped peppermint candy.
It’s popularity has grown over the years, leading the evolution of peppermint bark.
Why stop at regular old peppermint bark when you can make peppermint bark marshmallow cereal bars or peppermint bark cinnamon rolls?
And now, you can make peppermint bark popcorn!
- Plain popcorn
- Brown sugar
- Corn syrup
- Baking Soda
- Crushed candy canes or peppermint candies
Freshly popped popcorn is KEY! I highly recommend this DIY microwave popcorn recipe.
All you need a microwave, paper bag, and kernels to make fresh popcorn!
Brown sugar, corn syrup, molasses, baking soda and butter are cooked together to create caramel. Half of the popcorn is coated in caramel.
The popcorn is next drizzled with crushed peppermint candies, melted dark chocolate, and melted white chocolate.
How to Make Caramel
Homemade caramel is not difficult to make. However, I highly recommend using a candy thermometer to ensure the best results.
Ideally, you should use a heavy bottomed sauce pot that evenly distributes heat.
Cook together butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and molasses to 250 degrees F (121 degrees C). Once the correct temperature is reached, remove from heat.
This is the tricky part. Be extremely careful when adding baking soda to the hot ingredients. The caramel mixture will bubble and rise up!
Stir until contents are smooth. Caramel is ready to pour over the popcorn!
Pour Fresh Caramel Over Popcorn
The recipe calls for 16 cups of popped popcorn. Set aside 6 cups.
Pour hot caramel over the remaining 10 cups of popcorn. Use a large heat-proof spatula to coat the popcorn in caramel.
Then, spread caramel popcorn in an even layer on one layer baking sheet (or several small ones).
Pop the baking sheet in the oven for about an hour, stirring the caramel popcorn every 20 minutes to ensure even coating.
Peppermint Bark is one of my favorite holiday treats! I look forward to the time of year when it is acceptable to eat peppermint in every which way (peppermint hot chocolate, peppermint ice cream, peppermint lattes…).
Great DIY Holiday Gifts!
Translate peppermint bark into a delicious caramel popcorn mix!
You get a little of everything with this- plain popcorn, caramel popcorn, a little bittersweet dark chocolate, silky and creamy white chocolate, and crunch from the crushed candy canes.
These are great for packaging up for loved ones during the holiday season. Serve it with hot chocolate or cookies the ultimate treat!
Peppermint Bark Caramel Popcorn
- 16 cups plain popcorn , freshly popped
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup light brown sugar , packed
- 3 Tablespoon light corn syrup
- ½ Tablespoon molasses
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 Tablespoon water
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup crushed candy canes
- ⅓ cup dark chocolate chunks or chips , melted
- ⅓ cup white chocolate chunks or chips , melted
- Preheat oven to 250°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper (or silicone non-stick baking mat) and set aside.
- Place 10 cups of popcorn in the largest bowl you have. Set aside remaining 6 cups of popcorn in another bowl.
- In a heavy bottomed sauce pot, combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, molasses, salt and water. Set over medium heat to melt butter and sugar. Using a candy thermometer (or food safe thermometer), cook to 250°F. Stir mixture as needed to ensure even cooking.
- Once desired temperature is reached, remove from heat. Add baking soda and vanilla and whisk to combine. (BE CAREFUL when adding baking soda, as caramel mixture will bubble up and rise!
- Pour hot caramel over the 10 cups of popcorn. Using a large spatula, fold to distribute caramel among popcorn. Spread caramel popcorn into an even layer over prepared baking sheet. (If necessary, use more than one baking sheet if popcorn does not fit.) Bake for 60 minutes, stirring popcorn every 20 minutes to ensure even caramel coating.
- Remove from oven and let popcorn mixture cool slightly. Break up any large chunks that may have formed
- Combine caramel popcorn with reserved 6 cups of plain popcorn. Spread over a large baking sheet. Drizzle half of dark chocolate over popcorn. Follow by drizzling half of white chocolate. Sprinkle half of crushed candy canes. Let chocolate set.
- Once chocolate has hardened, toss popcorn together. Spread into an even layer and drizzle remaining dark and white chocolate and crushed candy canes. Once chocolate is set, toss together. Store in an airtight container.
- If using store-bought microwave popcorn, purchase plain unbuttered popcorn.
- Store in an airtight container.
- Best enjoyed the same day it is made. However, it will keep for about 3 days at room temperature.
Reader Questions and Reviews
Did you actually mean 1 teaspoon candy cane? Was it supposed to be 1/3 c, same as chocolate?
Hi! Thank you for pointing that out. I have updated it. It’s supposed to be 1 cup chopped/crushed candy canes.