Saturday, June 09, 2012

Almond Bark Popcorn

I have a quick, easy, fun snack that satisfies both the salty and sweet simultaneously. It only takes a few ingredients and whips up in minutes.  To top it off, you can keep it white or dye it a myriad of colors to match any special occasion you might be having; weddings, birthday parties, sporting events, graduations, baby showers...  I am talking about Almond Bark Popcorn, and you are going to love it!

The ingredients you will need are the following:

1 bag of microwave popcorn (or 8 cups)
3 squares of almond bark (found in a 12-block brick in most baking sections)
1 teaspoon of Crisco (to thin it out)
Cooking spray
Food coloring (optional)

First, pop one bag of microwave popcorn (It's ok if it's butter flavored or salted, it will add to the sweet/salty combination and ends up tasting awesome).  Sift through the popcorn by the cup full and put into a bowl sprayed with some cooking spray, this sifting will help make sure there will be no seeds or un-popped kernels to break your teeth later.

Next, in a small microwave safe bowl, add three squares of almond bark and a small spoonful of Crisco and melt for 60-90 seconds. Don't gross out too much about the Crisco.  It thins out the bark and makes it easier to mix in with the popcorn.  I've also heard of using coconut oil, or a spoonful of vegetable oil.

This pic has too much Crisco in it, I ended up taking 1/2 of it away.  It's more like a teaspoon of Crisco
Stir and see how melted it is.  Keep nuking for 20 second intervals until everything is melted together.  This is a good time to add food coloring if you are going to.

Next poor the mixture into the bowl of sifted popcorn and stir until blended

I also went ahead and made a second batch using more food coloring and making a darker contrasting purple color

Dump everything out onto a cookie sheet lined with foil and cooking spray, or one covered in a silpat mat. Allow the mixture to cool and break apart into chunks.  It's ready to eat right away. 

The possibilities are endless.  You could leave it as is and munch away, you could bag them up in cellophane bags and tie with ribbons and present as party favors or teacher's gifts.  You could add cashews, peanuts, M&M's to the mix before adding the almond bark.  You could add just sprinkles (instead of food dye) to the melted almond bark (and after) to make it more festive looking, it's all up to you!  Don't be surprised if people freak out and want this recipe as soon as they try it.  Enjoy!

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