What is it with the weeks before the holidays? It seems like everyone needs to cram in four months of good cheer into two and a half weeks: concerts, parties, dinners, lunches, potlucks, recitals, caroling. If you have a child who is enrolled in an activity, you will be inundated with Special Holiday Activities; if you have more than one child in more than one activity, chances are you are probably feeling like you've been run over by a steamroller right now, or like you're treading water but the water is getting progressively deeper and you have weights on your ankles.
Maybe by this point in December you are feeling like it is all too much, this Christmas thing, and the thought of holiday baking makes you want to hide in the bathroom and cry. Or drink. Or drink while hiding in the bathroom, with the children knocking on the door, saying "Mom, are you in there? Can we make cookies for the class?"
What does all this have to do with popcorn, you may ask? I'll tell you: this is a holiday treat that can be thrown together in no time at all. Let's say you have yet another holiday party to attend this weekend and you are supposed to bring a plate full of baking to share. Before you grab a bottle of wine and a funnel, relax. Take a deep breath. I've got you covered.
This candy cane popcorn requires about five minutes of active time, plus it allows you to take out your frustrations by smashing the candy canes into little pieces. Get the kids to help you portion the popcorn into treat bags, or just eat it all yourself; your call. Whatever you do, remember that in a few short weeks the craziness will be over and you can go back to drinking your wine in glasses, rather than via funnel or from the bottle in a paper bag, like a normal person.
Put the candy canes into a zippered plastic bag and place on a cutting board. Using a mallet, rolling pin, or the end of a drink muddler, smash them until you feel a bit better about the holiday season. Keep going. The more crushed they are, the better.
Put the popped popcorn into a very large bowl.
Place the Andes chocolates or white chocolate wafers into a microwave safe bowl and melt, stirring every thirty seconds. This can also be done in a double boiler. If using the white chocolate wafers, stir in the peppermint extract and food colouring if desired.
Pour the melted white chocolate over the popcorn and gently toss to coat. Arrange the coated popcorn on a wax paper-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with the crushed candy cane.
Allow to harden for approximately 30 minutes, then break apart and portion into bags. Or just eat it! I won't judge. Whatever gets you through.
Are you thinking "No, wait, I really do want to bake something?" Beat holiday baking fatigue with these cookie recipes. Maybe you need tricks to keep organized for holiday baking? I've got you covered. How about another popcorn recipe? Try my Addictively Delicious Caramel Corn!