(Family Features) As your winter schedule is sure to be packed with gatherings that bring family and friends closer, have plenty of treats that are gentle on the waist and wallet. Sweet, spicy, salty or with an Asian twist — any way you pop it — popcorn is a satisfying snack suitable for every chilly weather occasion.
Whether you’re hosting a game-day party or simply enjoying a family movie night, popcorn’s wholesome taste can take on a variety of flavors to please every guest. Plus, popcorn snacks are healthy and whole grain, which means they’re a more nutritious alternative to traditional party nibbles and noshes.
Cuddle up to these recipes and more by visiting www.popcorn.org.
Sweet and Salty Popcorn Party Mix
Yield: 14 cups
10 cups popped popcorn
2 cups miniature pretzel twists (or another small pretzel shape)
1 cup pecans
1 cup peanuts
2 cups rice, wheat or corn cereal squares
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 300°F. Place popcorn, pretzels, pecans, peanuts and cereal in very large bowl; set aside.
Heat butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in medium saucepan. Stir mixture over medium heat until it begins to boil. Boil 3 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda (mixture will foam).
Pour syrup over popcorn mixture in bowl and stir until evenly coated. Pour mixture onto large, rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. Bake 30 minutes, stirring twice during baking time. Stir mixture a few times as it cools on baking sheet. Store in airtight container.
Asian Popcorn Medley
Yield: 8 cups
6 cups popped popcorn
2 cups Oriental rice cracker mix
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2–1 teaspoon ground ginger (may vary to taste)
1/4–1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (may vary to taste)
Preheat oven to 300°F. Mix popcorn and rice cracker mix together in large bowl.
In small microwave-safe bowl, microwave butter on high until melted, about 20 seconds. Stir in soy sauce, ginger and oil. Drizzle over popcorn mixture; toss.
Spread mixture on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring once.
Allow to cool, serve or store in airtight container.
Cinnamon Chocolate Popcorn
Yield: 3 quarts
3 quarts popped popcorn
Butter-flavored cooking spray
9 tablespoons powdered cocoa mix (cocoa sweetened with sugar or sugar substitute)
3 teaspoons cinnamon
Put popcorn in large bowl and lightly spray with cooking spray.
Sprinkle cocoa mix and cinnamon on popcorn. Toss to coat evenly.
Spray and toss again until mixture is well coated.
Blazing Buffalo Ranch Popcorn
Yield: 6 quarts, plus leftover seasoning mix
1 tablespoon ranch dressing or dip mix (from 1-ounce package)
1 tablespoon seafood spice mix (or celery salt)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon powdered sugar (or sugar)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil
6 quarts popped popcorn
Cooking spray, optional
In small bowl, blend ranch dressing mix, spice mix, garlic powder, powdered sugar and cayenne pepper. Sprinkle with vegetable oil and blend until well incorporated.
Place popcorn in serving bowl and spray lightly with cooking spray. Sprinkle seasoning mix over popcorn to taste and toss. Store leftover seasoning mix in airtight container for future use.
Coconut-Ginger Popcorn Truffles
Yield: 3 dozen truffles
5 cups air-popped popcorn
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter
1/2 cup shredded coconut
3 tablespoons candied ginger, minced
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1 teaspoon coconut oil or butter
Place popcorn in large bowl.
Place marshmallows and 1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter in medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until melted; remove from heat.
Stir in shredded coconut and candied ginger. Mix well.
Spray hands with cooking spray, then scoop up 1 tablespoon of popcorn mixture.
Roll mixture with hands to form ball. Place ball on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Repeat to make 36 balls.
Place chocolate in small, microwave safe bowl. Heat in microwave on high for one minute, until melted. If not completely melted, microwave for another 15 seconds and stir again.
Stir 1 teaspoon coconut oil into melted chocolate.
Place chocolate in zipper-style plastic bag and seal. Snip off tiny corner of bag.
Pipe chocolate on popcorn balls in decorative pattern.
Garnish with extra shredded coconut and extra minced candied ginger, if desired.
Place truffles in cool place until chocolate is set.
Source: Popcorn Board