Peppermint Candied Popcorn – Happy Holidays!

by Irvin on December 23, 2011 · 10 comments

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For the past month of December, just before Christmas, I’ve been helping a friend out at a fancy department store, working in their epicure section. In fact, I’ve been handing out cookies to rich people browsing and walking around in their designer jeans that cost more than my share of the rent for the month. They are usually quite nice (after all, I am just giving them a cookie and who doesn’t love a cookie?) though, on occasion they haven’t been (those are stories for another time). Of course, I’m not one to judge, as I once wore those exact same designer jeans (often bought at a fraction of the price, at Loehmann’s or Marshall’s, but no one needs to know that but me). Still, I wonder at people’s priorities. In the epicure section, I saw people buy extremely expensive chocolate truffles, fancy cookies (the ones I was sampling) and large tins of overpriced popcorn. Somehow I can forgive them for buying the chocolate (hey, good chocolate is expensive) and the cookies I was handing out (they are made in Japan without preservatives and shipped fresh to order). But it seems criminal to me that people were spending $48 for a large tin of popcorn. Since I happen to buy organic popcorn in bulk at the local co-op grocery store for $1/lb, the idea of spending $48 for popcorn seemed ridiculous, no matter what the flavor or fancy tin it came in. Once my stint at the department store was up, I decided I had to make a holiday flavored popcorn, one that was easy and way cheaper than $48, for you guys to enjoy. Thus I created my Christmas Peppermint Candied Popcorn.


Peppermint Candied Popcorn

Now my sister is obsessed with popcorn. She once ordered three giant tins of popcorn from Target, only to have them delivered with dented tins, and so she complained and had them deliver three more tins to her, free of charge. In fact, I have a distinct memory of her getting SO excited about visiting St. Louis (our hometown) for the holidays one year as a store called POPtions – gourmet popcorn had just opened up. She dragged AJ and my brother out to the suburbs so she could sample and buy all the different flavors there. She’s actually quite the popcorn connoisseur, explaining the different types of flavors of popcorn, and what she likes and doesn’t like. But I never really thought much of popcorn, until AJ and I rediscovered how to make it on the stove.

The fact is, we always just threw the pre-packaged popcorn bags in the microwave and pressed the on button. It was easy and brainless, until one day I decided I had to buy some heirloom popcorn at the farmer’s market and make it on the stove. I had never actually made popcorn on the stove (neither had AJ). Growing up we had an air-pop machine (the type that allowed you to melt the butter in the tray on top, which meant I always melted WAY too much of it, and ended up making my popcorn soggy). Then, when we got our microwave (oh man, now I feel old, I lived in a time when microwaves weren’t in everyone’s house) we used the bags and never looked back. Turns out, the stove is not only incredibly easy, but also tastes better (and, according to studies, much better for you). I was sold. Popcorn on the stove from now on (that said, if you want instructions on how to make your own microwave popcorn – without the chemicals, just bounce over to my wordless recipe on honey caramel popcorn).


Peppermint Candied Popcorn, significantly cheaper, but still in a tin.

Now, feel free to use microwave popcorn for this recipe, I’m not snooty (did I mention I shopped at Marshall’s?). Try not to use the super buttery kind though, just one that has salt in it. The salt adds to the flavor. But if you do happen to have some loose popcorn kernels floating around and you want to use the stove method, I’ve included that in the recipe below. Something tells me my sister would approve of this holiday flavored popcorn, and it won’t break the bank like the tins at the fancy department store. Happy holidays folks!


Have a Very AJ and Irvin Christmas indeed!

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosa December 23, 2011 at 5:40 am

Wonderful popcorn! So festive.

I love that shot of you both! Terrific.

Happy Holidays!




Deanna B December 23, 2011 at 10:08 am

I am absolutely obsessed with popcorn too, but it has to be made on the stove. Otherwise, bleh. I burnt more popcorn in the microwave than I have on the stove. I love the peppermint idea. I just made some of Molly’s caramel corn, yours is up next, assuming I still have popcorn.


Belinda @zomppa December 23, 2011 at 11:29 am

I can see why she’s obsessed. I have to watch myself around popcorn. AWESOME card! Happy holidays to both of you!


Kris December 23, 2011 at 11:34 am

oooooooh! I am so trying this. I’m making my own version of fancy popcorn tonight called Praline Popcorn, but maybe it’s time to change it up. Merry Christmas!


merri December 23, 2011 at 11:37 am

I like popcorn, but i’m picky. The WORST is that popcorn you were talking about, the kind that comes in a tin. EW so nasty just the smell from when our neighbors would give us a tub made me ill LOL. The next worst is microwave kind. yuk. it tastes all chemically. When i was very little, we popped popcorn on the stove, or when the teachers brought it into school. it’s ok. I prefer air popped. It’s not greasy, it’s not burned, and it’s super easy. Plus, they sell those machines at walgreens or whatever for less than $20! And a bottle of popcorn kernels is just a dollar or two, and it lasts FOREVER. super healthy as well (unless you dump on butter and salt, which i sometimes do lol).


Jonathan December 25, 2011 at 10:55 pm

I have so many fond memories of candied popcorn. Thanks for reminding me. Hope you, AJ, and his family had a wonderful Holiday. 🙂


Shila December 26, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Awww, I love that holiday pic of you and AJ! My favorite popcorn flavors are savory, but this looks like a fun variation.


Culinary Collage December 28, 2011 at 9:42 am

I just discovered your site…’s lovely! What a great holiday picture…very cute! I’ll be stopping back for sure.


Garrett December 29, 2011 at 11:10 am

This. This is so something I would love. Enough so that I’m making it tonight. Love it.

So sad I missed the party. Hope to see you at next years and, hopefully, sooner than that. =D


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