Last week I did a post about making a Game Day Popcorn Party Mix in team colors for a Super Bowl party. Today's post is about a similar party mix, with a few additions to make it festive and pretty for Valentine's Day or any "pink" party--wedding, baby girl, princess birthdays, etc. (The colors can be changed for other occasions.) This mix is delicious, easy, and the colors 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 Pretty-in-Pink
Popcorn Party Mix
Step 1. Assemble the ingredients: popcorn (I used oil- and salt-free air-popped); white chips for melting (vanilla or white chocolate); semi-sweet chocolate chips for melting (not pictured); honey roasted peanuts, M&M's in red and pink (this Valentine's Day version is widely available in stores in February); coarse sea salt; decorating sprinkles (I used pink nonpareils and red coarse sugar); canola oil, food coloring (oil-based recommended; I used Wilton candy colors.).
In place of the white chips you can use pink Wilton candy melts that are already colored; although the colors aren't as vibrant. 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. This isn't commonly found in grocery stores. The more common water based food coloring will cause the melted chips to thicken to a paste. It can be used, but you have to assemble the mix differently. See my Game Day Popcorn Party Mix post for an explanation.
Step 2. 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:
Step 3. Sprinkle evenly with 1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts and 1/2 cup M&Ms.
Step 4. 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 food coloring to the white chips, if desired.
Step 5. Melt them in the microwave using the method described here:
Step 6. 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.
Step 8. Next melt the pink-colored white chips; and drizzle the pretty melted mixture over the popcorn.
Now, it is "pretty-in-pink"!
Step 9. Before the pink drizzle hardens, sprinkle it with red sugar and pink nonpareils.
The sprinkles make the mix prettier, and also add some crunch.
Step 10. Let the mix harden completely and break it into pieces. The hardened melted chocolate serves as glue to hold the candies, nuts, and popcorn together.
Serve the mix in a bowl or on a platter.
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. You can choose from 10 free Valentine's Day downloadable gift tags here:
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: