I thought I was through with microwave popcorn recipes for awhile. I've been going kinda overboard with the popcorn lately. (There's a list of my previous microwave popcorn recipes at the end of this post.) But, I can't seem to stop on this theme just yet. You see, I was in the grocery store earlier this week and saw big bags of popped green popcorn for St. Patrick's Day. That was the kernel (bad pun, sorry) that led to today's post. I started wondering if I could figure out how to color popcorn as it pops in the microwave. Wouldn't that be fun and easy?
This recipe is a sweet candy corn.
First, I tried adding food coloring to the melted butter and oil in my Homemade Microwave Popcorn recipe so that the colored corn would have a light butter/salt flavor. The good news is, the popcorn did in fact pop green and tasted good. The bad news is, when I ate it my fingers and lips turned green, too. Not acceptable.
Next, I thought that the green coloring might be more likely to stay put on the popcorn and avoid staining everything it touched if I mixed it with some corn syrup that would get cooked on as it popped. That worked! So, this final recipe for making microwave colored popcorn is a sweet popcorn. It's yummy. And, it's as easy as making my Microwave Kettle Corn. Everything gets cooked onto the popcorn as it pops in the microwave. Simple and good. No candy thermometers or stove-top cooking, as is required in most candy corn recipes.
First, review my general tips about microwave popcorn.
My previous post about Homemade Microwave Popcorn has lots of information about how much healthier & cheaper it is to make your own microwave popcorn and avoid those store-bought packets. That post also includes tips about the kind of bowl and vented lid I use for making microwave popcorn. I recommend that you read those tips before trying this recipe for microwave colored popcorn. The procedure is the same; I've just added a couple of ingredients to the colored popcorn recipe.
Step-by-step photos for making Microwave Colored Popcorn
Step 1. Assemble these items:
Step 2. Combine the butter, oil, salt, corn syrup, and food coloring in a bowl. Microwave 30-40 seconds, just until butter melts. Stir to combine. (I used green food coloring in these photos.)
Step 3. Add the popcorn kernels and stir it so that the kernels get completely covered with the syrup mixture. Even them out in the bottom of the bowl. This results in every piece of popcorn having the color and flavor cooked on it as it pops.
Step 4. Cover the bowl with the vented lid and microwave on high for 3-5 minutes, or until there are 1-2 seconds between pops. The time will vary depending on your microwave and bowl, so you may need some trial-and-error on the first batch or 2 to figure out how long it takes the popcorn to cook. Mine took 4 minutes, 20 seconds. If you cook it too long, it will burn, smoke & stink; so keep a close watch.
Step 5. Immediately spoon the popcorn from the bowl onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or waxed paper. This will keep it from sticking to the bottom of the bowl as it cools. There will be some of the cooked syrup mixture in the bottom of the bowl, along with some unpopped kernels. That's why I recommend spooning out the colored popcorn. If you turn the bowl upside down and dump the popcorn onto the baking sheet, those unpopped kernels will end up stuck to the popcorn.
Step 6. Sort through the popcorn on the baking sheet, and carefully pick out any unpopped kernels that may have stuck to the popped corn.
The popcorn will be partially covered with a tasty, colored coating that quickly gets crunchy as the popcorn cools. Store it in a ziploc bag or other airtight container.
A rainbow of possibilities! You can make this popcorn in any color you choose. Or make more than one color and mix them. Here are some ideas:
Fun gift ideas! The green popcorn makes a great St. Patrick's Day gift. Or, you can mix a bunch of colors together for a rainbow mix. Check out my post that includes gift ideas and free gift tags for you to download.
For yourself, for a party, for a gift; colored popcorn is a tasty, pretty treat.
Make it a yummy day!
You might also be interested in these recipes:
Other popcorn recipes that may interest you: