It’s the season of the Holiday Cookie Exchange! To many, it’s a beloved tradition – where each participant brings only one variety of homemade treat – and everyone goes home with over a dozen different types of cookies, bars, fudge or other treat. But, to my sister-in-law, it’s the dreaded Holiday Cookie Swap. She doesn’t have the time nor the inclination to come up with a home baked recipe. So this recipe for Peppermint Popcorn Balls is for her.Switch up your holiday cookie swap with these Peppermint Popcorn Balls via @tspcurry Click To Tweet
If you can open a package of marshmallows, and if you have a microwave, you are set. I tweaked this Candy Corn Popcorn Balls recipe from Cooking Light – which requires no cooking: It’s as easy as making microwave popcorn. For a festive touch, I added crushed peppermint candies and chocolate (melted in the microwave) to the original recipe. Thanks to this original, kid-friendly treat, you (and my sister-in-law) will fear the Holiday Cookie Exchange no more.
Peppermint Popcorn Balls
These simple peppermint popcorn balls will be a favorite at your Holiday Cookie Exchange.
- Yield: 22 popcorn balls
- 18 cups freshly popped popcorn (yes, you really need this much popcorn!)
- 5 candy canes (or 25 peppermint candies,) crushed
- 1 (10 ounce) bag mini-marshmallows
- 5 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
- 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 teaspoon trans-fat free shortening
- In a very large bowl, mix together popcorn and all but about 2 tablespoons of crushed candy canes. Place the reserved 2 tablespoons candy canes on a large plate.
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, mix marshmallows and butter. Melt in the microwave for about 5 minutes on 70% power, stirring halfway through. (Microwave times will vary so watch closely.) Immediately, pour marshmallow mixture over popcorn mixture. Spray cooking spray on your hands and working quickly, form popcorn mixture into 22 balls and place onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Roll each popcorn ball in the plate with crushed peppermint and place back on baking sheet.
- Place chocolate chips, and shortening in microwave-safe bowl; microwave on 50% power for about 2 minutes, stirring halfway through. Chocolate should be almost fully melted; stir to melt completely. Using a fork, drizzle chocolate over popcorn balls. Wrap balls in sheets of plastic wrap if desired.
Do you participate in a Holiday Cookie Exchange? What recipe are you making for it this year?