Candied Popcorn for Easter
This is 100% pure sugar. Obviously this is not for the everyday, but it is meant to be fun and festive and not the least bit serious! It has the name Easter Crack in this household. Once you start, you can’t stop. Or maybe that is just me? Quite possibly…
I am obsessed with popcorn- it has always been a favorite of mine, and I am constantly on the lookout for new ways to enhance and enjoy it. I was recently inspired by la fuji mama’s White Chocolate Cranberry Cashew Popcorn (I know- insane!). I thought that I should make a kids version that they could get in the Easter spirit with.
It is a light and crispy caramel popcorn, and then you add salty, crunchy cocktail peanuts, white chocolate, milk chocolate m&m’s and sprinkles. My daughters eyes were bugging out of her head when she saw this.
Just have fun with it- add whatever sounds great to you!
BY THE WAY!!! make sure that you cook the caramel mixture for a solid 5 minutes so that the candy gets past the softball stage. If it doesn’t cook long enough, the popcorn will be gooey, not crispy!
Candied Popcorn for Easter
12-14 cups of popped popcorn
1 cup roasted, salted peanuts
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
½ cup corn syrup
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup roasted, salted peanuts
1 cup Easter m&m’s
1 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
Spread the popcorn and the peanuts out on a sheet pan fitted with a silpat or a piece of parchment paper.
Using the popcorn pot, add the butter, sugar, salt and corn syrup and heat them over medium heat.
Cook until everything is melted and bubbling 5-6 minutes.
Meanwhile combine the vanilla and baking soda in a small bowl.
Remove the pot from the heat, add the vanilla and stir until well combined.
Immediatley pour the caramel onto the popcorn. Stir well with a heatproof spatula.
Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes minutes, stirring every 20 minutes.
When you remove the pan from the oven, immediately sprinkle the m&m’s over the popcorn.
Melt the white chocolate in the microwave and drizzle it over the popcorn, peanuts and m&m’s.
While the chocolate is soft, sprinkle everything with Easter sprinkles.
Let the popcorn and chocolate set up and cool. Break the popcorn into chunks and serve.
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I love how easy this is! I like a good sugar-filled recipe at Easter. This will be a definite hit!
I’ve been waiting for you to post this recipe:) I am sure I will have a stomach ache soon:)
Cannot wait to try this with my kids!!! Thank you!!! xx
Oh, good heavens! Now you’ve done it. I’ll never be able to pass up all the Easter candy without thinking it would be perfect for candied popcorn. You are so naughty!
lol! oh Vicki!
that is GORGEOUS and sounds delicious!
Look lady, are you trying to kill me with great food, cause it might be working. One after another your recipes just look awesome including the delectablness-ness (ok, not a word) but seriously this looks easy and simple and incredible and I’m still stuck on the SD muffins! I gotta catch up!
That looks so delicious! I can’t eat popcorn right now because I have braces, but in a couple of months when they’re off, i’m going to have to try this.
The instructions don’t mention the nuts, altho they show in the picture. Do you add them before or after coating the popcorn with the caramel? I assume they go into the oven to bake along with the popcorn and are not just added afterward like the m&m’s.
Hi Lee Ann- first step is to spread the popcorn and nuts on the sheet tray before you pour sugar onto it. they should bake together.
How long in advance can I make this and it not be stale?
I bet this would last close to a week in a sealed container- although I would be SHOCKED if you could resist eating it for that long!
Yum!~ Fun! Great job 🙂
LOVE! I can’t wait to make this, it’s so cute and colorful! Thanks for sharing!
My grand kids will love this sugar high.
you have the popcorn and peanuts listed twice—is the correct amount just the 8-10 cups, or is it the double amount?
sorry!! thanks- just meant to list once!
Thanks for the great recipe! It was a great treat 🙂
Heather… your posts are always so amazingly, stunningly beautiful. Love the pic and can’t wait to blow my kids minds with this in their baskets this weekend!
Annie G- thank you!!!!!
Just finished a sample batch – it is soo gorgeous and festive. We can’t wait to dig in. Thanks for the great recipe!
This looks so yummy! I can’t wait to try this. your friend from Pioneer woman.
Made a big batch of this last night and the office crew loves it. Letting it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes helps firm it up and makes it easier to break into pieces.
Yep, this stuff is so addictive!! The Easter version is super cute!!
I just finished a batch of these with chopped up mini Snickers bars instead of M&M’s (Snickers is a favorite among my in-laws!), and while they are not quite as colorful, they taste amazing! Thanks Heather!
This looks so yummy! How many people do you think it serves?
If it is for me- it will serve one. oink oink. normal people- maybe a dozen?
I can’t wait to try this. I will be popping corn on Saturday. I hope I don’t eat it all by myself.
This looks so good! I was just wondering where the 1 tsp of salt is to be added? I can’t wait to try this!
Made it for my girls’ Easter Parties at their school. From the looks and smells of it alone, I can tell it’s going to be a big hit. I didn’t have any peanuts, so I substituted with oats. I didn’t want it to be too sweet, so I didn’t use all the caramel and it seems to have worked great (since I lacked the saltiness of the peanuts as well as their bulk). But it does look stunning in little individual baggies!
Thanks for sharing this recipe!!!
So excited that it is for a school party! I hope they love it. GREAT idea with the oats!
Oh my goodness, this looks amazing. Can’t wait to try this recipe!!
i am clueless when it comes to carmel. How long do i let it boil once it starts to boil? Do you have a temperture… like hard crack or time. I just bought all the stuff and cnat wait to make.
Just let it boil until sugar dissolves- like 3-5 minutes. Enjoy!!
Just made this last night to take to the in-laws on Sunday-turned out great! It’s super easy and fun. I think I left it 10 minutes too long (40 min.) in the oven; the caramel was a bit grainy-textured. Still yummy! Thanks!
Thanks for sharing – I’m making this popcorn this afternoon to bring for Sunday Easter dessert and I think it will quickly become a family favorite!
Also, there was no mention in the directions as to where the salt gets added. ?
the salt should go in the caramel!
I just finished making this. So pretty! I’m calling it toothache 🙂
What happened to mine? 🙁 I made it tonight and did everything right, as the recipe called for. Out of the oven, I got super runny and soggy popcorn. I went ahead and topped it with everything, hoping the soupy caramel coating will harden overnight. However, it has been sitting for about 2 hours now, and I have a feeling it’s not going to recover. It is pretty, though. I was hoping to alter this recipe to use for other holidays. 🙁
shoot!? Are you sure that you had enough popcorn? maybe the popcorn to caramel ratio was off? then you have to make sure that you bake it for long enough? I’m so sorry… I’m not sure what happened!?
Lisa- see my thought above. Maybe it was the weather?? was it raining?
Make 2 batches! First one was perfect! The second was still good, but I preferred the first batch. I am thinking the difference is the first batch I used dark brown sugar and the second batch I used light brown sugar? Or does it really make a difference? Who knows…both batches were beautfifully yummy though. I actually used my air popper for the pop corn, and it worked out fine. Thanks for sharing this.
So interesting. i have made multiple batches too, and there is some inconsistency. It just dawned on me that it may be from the weather?? The rainy day batches are not as good as the sunny day batches. Everything turns out a little gooier. Sunny seems to equal crispy….
Honestly, this was so sugary sweet I couldn’t eat very much. Next time I am leaving out the m&m’s and the white chocolate and just making the caramel corn. It is absolutely the best I’ve ever had.
lol! I was not joking about this being 100% pure sugar! I like it plain best too 🙂 But my kids cannot get enough of the other “garnishes”!
Hi, Heather! Sorry it took me FOREVER to respond to you! The caramel to popcorn ratio was definitely off. However, I thought putting it in the oven would help that. About your weather theory, it was bright and sunny the day I made the popcorn!
Hi Heather! I discovered your site during Easter time (thanks to Ree from The Pioneer Kitchen). I went out and bought ALL of the ingredients, but just never got around to making this. 🙁 However, I’m FINALLY going to attempt it today! Yay! *QUESTION: I’m a bit confused by how many cups of corn I’m supposed to use. 10-12 cups? Or 8-10 cups? You have it listed twice with two different amounts, so I just wanted to double-check with you before I attempted it. Thanks for sharing your recipe!
Shoot!- just bad editing! After the feedback- I would use 10-12 cups of popcorn. I think some people were having trouble with the ratio. Using a bit more popcorn seemed to do the trick and there is nothing wrong with more end result!!
Oki doki! Will do! Thanks for getting back to me Heather! Much appreciated! 😀
What a great recipe! I substituted hot tamales for the m&m’s, because they are my son’s favorite 🙂 How do you store it so the chocolate doesn’t melt? I put some in the fridge, and left some on the counter. The stuff on the counter isn’t getting hard, but I don’t want it to go stale in the fridge!
The white chocolate took me a couple hours to get truly hard. When it was dry I just stuck mine in ziploc bags and tried to push all of the air out. Do you have a cool pantry? So fun with the hot tamales! is it a good combo?!
This was an absolute hit at Easter. So gooey and yummy! I’m going to try to make another batch this weekend with red, white, and blue garishes and M&Ms!
great!! I can’t wait to hear what you use!
Just finished sending out green and red m&m’d version for Christmas. MMMM and beautiful!! People are falling over themselves to eat this at my office! Thanks for a fun recipe.
Awesome Jessa! So glad to hear that!
Heather, How long does it hold? I want to make it for Easter. Can I make it a few days ahead of time? Or is it better to make it the day before?
I made it 5 days ago- and it is still great, so you should be great!
Just found this recipe and can’t wait to try it for the kids on Easter. One allergic to peanuts though. Do you think it would work with salted almonds or some other nut instead?
Of course Nat! I also make it nut free most of the time for crowds as you never know who could be allergic.
250 degrees? is it Celsius or Fahrenheit ?
250 degrees! low heat or the sugar will totally burn!