Quite a number of years ago when my cousin moved his wife and family across the State from St. Louis to Kansas City we missed seeing them at Christmas. It was the first time we'd not been together at the holidays in more than a decade. We'd agreed not to exchange gifts as the logistics of sending so many packages back and forth through the mail seemed daunting. But instead of sending each person a gift, Barbara (my cousin's wife) sent each family a tin of popcorn. It was a nice gesture, we all thought, as we opened up the tin and stared at it . My youngest son peered at it over my shoulder and poked it with disinterest. Popcorn. Huh. And then one of us, I don't remember which one, decided to give it a taste. "Ummmmmmm," he said. Ummmm? Well, let's all try it, shall we? And we did. My guess is that it took no longer than 15 minutes for the entire tin to be consumed. (In our defense, we're talking a cookie-size tin, and not one of those whopping big multi-gallon size tins you might get from the Popcorn Factory or some carnival supply company). Yes, it was that good. There was something about the combination of salty and sweet that had us shoveling it into our mouths so quickly that I think some of us forgot to breathe.
The next day, under the guise of thanking her for the popcorn and wishing her the best for the holiday season I weaseled the recipe out of her. It is unbelievably simple, whips up in no time, and you probably have everything in your pantry at the moment. If not, don't worry. You can substitute almonds for the pecans, you can use any type or size of pretzel, just break them up if they're the big ones. Any brand of microwave popcorn will do (As you can see I used the low-cal popcorn, and yes, I'm aware of the irony of using the 100-calorie packs and then coating them with chocolate.), just be sure (and I cannot stress this enough!) that you carefully pick through the popcorn to get all of the unpopped kernels out before coating it with the chocolate or your medley will seem as though one of the main ingredients is pea gravel -- don't ask me how I know this.
|Package and label any way you see fit, but I find these clear bags that allow the recipient to see what you're giving them to be the best.|
It makes a great gift, bagged up and tagged with a label, greeting, and the recipe. The amounts of ingredients listed are really up to you and your own personal taste. Just know that the better quality the ingredients, the tastier the end product. I used Ghirardelli white chocolate chips because they seem to melt better for me than any other brand. Now go get popping!
White Chocolate Popcorn Medley
1 12-oz. package white chocolate chips, melted
2 bags microwave popcorn
2 cups mini pretzels
1 cup pecans, toasted
Prepare popcorn according to package directions. Mix popcorn, pretzels, and nuts in a very large bowl. Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave and pour over ingredients in bowl. Stir well.
|Put the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.|
|Pour melted chocolate over all and stir until mixture is well coated.|
|To make the mixture a bit more festive for the holidays I added a few shakes of red sugar.|