Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Popcorn

When we were growing up, it seemed like during the holidays there was always and abundant amount of "munchie" stuff.  My mom always had some great treat for while we were playing games, watching movies, sitting in the kitchen chatting...  I have such great memories of treats that were only part of the holidays, things we didn't have any other time of year. 

In fact, I remember when my husband and I first got married, I called my mom and had to have this recipe for Christmas.  It was just my husband and I, we had no need for a huge bowl of this, but I made it anyway.  I'm fairly certain most of it got thrown away, because we couldn't eat it all.  But, it wasn't Christmas without it!

These weren't the most fancy recipes---probably nothing you'd find in Martha Stewart.  But maybe that's what makes them so awesome.  They are family friendly, fun, not good for you treats that we can indulge in during those special times of the year.

This recipe is one of those fun recipes.  This recipe SCREAMS Christmas to me.  I can't even remember what my mom called this, but to me, it's "Christmas Popcorn".  I made this the other night for the kids to snack on while we got all of the Christmas stuff out and decorated the tree.  They were thrilled!  They thought it was such a fun treat.  I hope it becomes a fun "food memory" for them, like it is for me.  (And by keeping it to a once or twice a year tradition, I'm hoping the food memory they have won't be clogged arteries.)

I said before: This isn't fancy.  This isn't healthy.  But, it's everything else: Fun.  Gooey.  And something your kids will probably love!

Christmas Popcorn

  • 4 quarts popcorn (hot air popped, not microwave)
  • 1 c. nuts (peanuts---this is optional.  I left them out the last time I made it, because I didn't have any on hand.)
  • 1 c. coconut
  • 3 c. mini marshmallows
  • 1 1/2 c. gumdrops (I used the red & green "spice" ones)
  • 1 c. melted butter
  • 1 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  1. Pop popcorn, and remove all old maids. 
  2. In a very large bowl, mix together popcorn, nuts, coconut, marshmallows and gumdrops.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the butter, sugar and corn syrup to a boil.  Boil for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  (Be careful if you are using REAL vanilla---which you should be---it contains alcohol, and will pop and splash back at you when you add it to such a hot liquid. 
  4. Cool for 2 minutes, then pour over dry ingredients.  Mix well so everything is coated.
  5. Keep in a covered container. 

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