With St. Patrick's Day just a few days away, I'm in a green kind of mood. Today's post is about a party mix that is very similar to my Pretty-In-Pink Popcorn Party Mix, with a couple of additions to make it festive and green for St. Patrick's Day. (The colors can be changed for other occasions, too.) In this mix, I used green colored popcorn instead of plain, and I added pretzels to the mix. It's a sweet and salty mix that is delicious, easy, and the colors can contribute to your party decorations. It's great for classroom party treats or to take to the office to share with co-workers. Serve it in a bowl, or put it in gift bags. This makes a fun gift or party treat or favor.
Step-by-step photos for making Green Popcorn & Pretzel Party Mix
Step 1. Assemble the ingredients: pretzels, popcorn (I used green colored popcorn, but plain works fine, too); white chips for melting (vanilla or white chocolate); semi-sweet chocolate chips for melting; honey roasted peanuts, green M&M's (numerous online sources for single color M&Ms; also available at Walmart); coarse sea salt; decorating sprinkles (I used green and white nonpareils and green coarse sugar); canola oil, oil-based candy food coloring (see note below).
In place of the white chips you can use Green Wilton candy melts that are already colored (available at Walmart and craft stores) . You can also omit the food coloring entirely--use plain white melted chips and rely on M&Ms and sprinkles to add color to the mix.
NOTE about food coloring. If you want to color melted baking chips or candy and maintain a thinner drizzling consistency, you need to use an oil based food coloring.The more common grocery store water-based food colorings & gels will cause the melted mixture to seize (thicken to a paste-like consistency). The oil-based coloring blends in nicely. Some specialty cooking stores carry it. I used Wilton candy colors from Amazon.
Step 2. (Optional--you can use the pretzels plain and skip this step, if you prefer.) Melt 1/2 cup white chocolate chips in the microwave using the method described here:
Dip half of each pretzel in the melted chocolate and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment or waxed paper. While still wet, sprinkle with colored sugar or other decorative sprinkles. Set aside to harden. (Hint: Sprinkle some of the colored sugar on the baking sheet before adding the dipped pretzels, so the sprinkles stick to the bottom of the dipped pretzels, too.)
Step 3. Line a large baking sheet (mine is 13x18) with parchment or waxed paper. Spread 8 cups of popped corn on the baking sheet. It's easy to pop your popcorn in the microwave. Here's how: Homemade Plain Microwave Popcorn
Or, you can color your popcorn green first, if you prefer. That's what I did. Here's how: Microwave Colored Popcorn. However, if you want to simplify this recipe, you can skip coloring the popcorn; there's already plenty of green in the sprinkles and candy.
Step 4. Sprinkle popcorn evenly with 1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts and 1/2 cup M&Ms.
Step 5. Add oil to chocolate and white chips. (Adding a small amount of canola or vegetable oil, gives the melted chocolate a smoother, glazy texture and appearance.) Add oil-based food coloring to the white chips, if desired.
Step 6. Melt them in the microwave using the same method used in Step 2 above.
Step 7. Use a spoon to drizzle melted chocolate on top of popcorn mix.
Step 7. While the chocolate is still "wet", sprinkle it with coarse sea salt so the salt will stick. This makes a yummy sweet & salty taste combo. Add light colored sprinkles now, too, since it will contrast with the dark chocolate best. I sprinkled on white nonpareils.
Step 8. Next melt the green-colored white chips; and drizzle the melted mixture over the popcorn.
Step 9. Before the green drizzle hardens, sprinkle it with green sugar and/or green nonpareils.
Step 10. Let the mix harden completely and break it into pieces. Add in the pretzels.
The sprinkles make the mix prettier, and also add some crunch. The pretzels and nuts are salty, the candy and melted chips are sweet--a yummy combo!
Serve the mix in a bowl or on a platter.
The hardened melted chocolate serves as glue to hold the candies, nuts, and popcorn together. It breaks off in pieces for easy eating
For a party or buffet, make individual servings in cupcake liners.
This mix makes a great gift! Put the mix in cellophane bags or a jar. Add ribbons and tags to pretty it up. Check out my post with several fun St. Patrick's Day gift tags you can download and print.
Make sure you keep some for yourself. You deserve a sweet treat, too!
Make it a yummy day!
Other popcorn recipes that may interest you:
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