From Christmas Trees to Nutty Popcorn Fudge These Popcorn Recipes will Keep Kids Busy and Everyone Snacking
For more than a century, Americans have used popcorn as festive holiday decor–to make and eat–enchanting young and old alike. From garland and sparkly balls, to wreaths, trees and reindeers, we’ve got plenty of recipes to get you in the spirit of the season. Popcorn is always a hit as appetizer, snack or dessert. It’s an inexpensive and welcome hostess gift too.
Popcorn is an amazingly versatile grain. With a little imagination and some common household ingredients, you can make tasty and original snacks in no time at all. Check out the recipes listed below.
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Maple Bacon Popcorn Mix
Yield: 2 Quarts
- 8 cups popped popcorn
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2/3 cup pecan halves, coarsely chopped
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon maple extract
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line jellyroll pan with foil. Place wire rack in pan. Arrange bacon in single layer on rack. Bake 15 minutes until ends of bacon start to curl.
- Remove and reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings. Brush bacon with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup; bake 15 minutes until browned. Cool then coarsely chop bacon.
- Combine popcorn, pecans and cranberries in large bowl.
- Combine butter, black pepper, maple extract, remaining 2 tablespoons maple syrup and reserved bacon drippings. Cook over low heat until butter is melted. Drizzle over popcorn mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Spread popcorn mixture in jellyroll or roasting pan.
- Bake 5 minutes. Toss in bacon pieces. Serve warm.
Festive Popcorn Trees
Yield: 10 trees
10 cups air-popped popcorn
1 10-ounce bag miniature marshmallows
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Decorating sugar (green, blue)*
1 tube of white frosting (with decorating tip)
Assorted small colorful candies, such as sprinkles and miniature silver dragees
Place popcorn in large bowl.
Place marshmallows and butter in medium saucepan over medium-lowheat. Stir until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
Stir in vanilla extract.
Pour mixture over popcorn in bowl. Toss well to coat popcorn evenly.
Line a baking sheet with foil.
Spray hands with nonstick cooking spray, then scoop up about 1 cup of popcorn mixture.
Shape mixture into a cone shape, keeping the base flat. This forms the tree.
Sprinkle tree with decorating sugar; place tree on baking sheet.
Continue to make the rest of the trees.
Pipe frosting on trees to make a garland, then decorate them with colorful candies.
Place each tree on a sugar cookie and decorate your serving tray with shredded coconut to resemble snow.
It’s important that this recipe starts with unflavored white popcorn for best color and flavor.
Make your own colored sugar by adding food coloring to sugar, stirring in a bowl or shaking vigorously in a sealed container. Add more food coloring for more intense tones.
Coconut-Ginger Popcorn Truffles
Yield: 3 dozen truffles
- 5 cups air-popped popcorn
- 2 cups miniature marshmallows
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter
- 3 tablespoons candied ginger, minced
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil or butter
- Place popcorn in large bowl.
- Place marshmallows and coconut oil or butter in medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until melted; remove from heat.
- Stir in shredded coconut and candied ginger. Mix well. Pour over popcorn and mix again.
- Spray hands with nonstick cooking spray, then scoop up one tablespoon of popcorn mixture.
- Roll mixture with hands to form a ball. Place ball on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.
- Repeat to make 36 balls.
- Place chocolate in small, microwavesafe bowl. Heat in microwave on HIGH for one minute, until melted. If not completely melted, microwave for another 15 seconds and stir again.
- Stir 1 teaspoon coconut oil into melted chocolate.
- Place chocolate in zipper-style plastic bag and seal. Snip off a tiny corner of bag.
- Pipe chocolate on popcorn balls in a decorative pattern.
- Garnish with extra shredded coconut and extra minced candied ginger if desired.
- Place truffles in a cool place until chocolate is set.
Nutty Popcorn Fudge
Yield: 32 squares
- 4 cups popped popcorn
- 1 (18 oz.) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tablespoon butter or margarine
- 1 cup toasted slivered almonds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Line 9″ x 13” pan with foil; set aside.
- Melt chips, condensed milk and butter in large saucepan, stirring until smooth; remove from heat.
- Stir in popcorn, nuts and vanilla.
- Spread mixture evenly in prepared pan.
- Chill 2 hours or until firm.
- Remove from pan and cut into squares.
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The Popcorn Board is a non-profit check-off organization funded by U.S. popcorn processors to raise awareness of popcorn as a versatile, whole-grain snack.