Each Christmas Janet and I made many tasty treats to give away in gift bags to family and close friends. This year I have done it by myself as we are no longer together. One of the items Janet did in previous Holiday seasons was the White Chocolate Popcorn, and it sure was a hit with everyone. I didn't have any notion this year of the amount of chocolate to use with a quart bag of popcorn so I had to go slowly and figure it out as I proceeded.
As you might expect I have to be quantitative about most everything, especially Food Nirvana recipes, so I used the Internet to find a few recipes and I was not impressed. They were nothing but generalities. I experimented and learned what I believe is the right amount of white chocolate to use per quart of popcorn, and that information is shown in the recipe below. Now you have this recipe and you can make this delightful snack too. Enjoy! Do note that it is a bit more work than might appear on the surface. The very limited number of ingredients makes one think it has be simple. Well, it is simple but time consuming with a fair amount of labor.
4 quarts of freshly popped popcorn (see below about type of popcorn)
Sea salt to taste
1 lb. of good quality white chocolate (I buy 2.5 pound packages of Ghirardelli® candy making white chocolate at Sam's Club®)
Make the popcorn and put half of it into a one gallon bowl with a wide top. I prefer white popcorn kernels, not the yellow ones, so I buy popcorn kernels online from Brandmeyer Popcorn Company® in Iowa (www.iowastatepopcorn.com). I buy ten, two pound bags each time. The price is absurdly low, as is the shipping. The only alternative is to buy a jar of the white popcorn kernels in a brand like Orville Redenbacher's® at the supermarket, for an absurdly high price, otherwise you simply can't find white popcorn kernels in any supermarket. That is a disgusting and intentional change in our society, due to business greed.
Lightly salt the popcorn and mix the popcorn and salt together well with two large wooden spoons.
Melt 1/2 lb. of the white chocolate in the microwave oven, following the steps below.
Use a heavy butcher knife and a wooden cutting board and cut the chocolate into small pieces and shavings.
Put the chocolate pieces and shavings into a one quart glass bowl that is microwave oven safe.
Microwave the chocolate on full power for one minute, then remove the bowl and stir the chocolate with a fork to cover unmelted pieces with melted chocolate.
Return the bowl to the microwave oven and microwave the chocolate on full power for 30 seconds. As before, remove the bowl from the microwave oven and stir the contents with a fork for one minute to help any partially melted pieces of chocolate to melt into the already melted chocolate.
Repeat the microwaving procedure but for only 15 seconds. Remove the bowl and finish mixing the chocolate with a fork.The chocolate is now completely melted and mixed and ready to use with the popcorn.
Drizzle/gently pour the melted chocolate over the surface of the popcorn, using a spoon to get most of the chocolate out of the bowl.
Immediately use the two large wooden spoons to mix the melted chocolate and the popcorn thoroughly so as to coat all of the popcorn with a thin layer of white chocolate.
You are now ready to package the white chocolate popcorn into two one quart (or slightly larger) bags. I use paper bags that I buy at the local candy making supply store that are polymer coated inside and thus waterproof and stainproof. The bags have closure ties at the top. See the picture shown with this recipe. Yes, they even have a see-through cellophane window in the bag. Below are the instructions for filling the bags.
I open a bag and place it in a tall plastic storage container slightly wider than the bag and about the same height. I then use a wide mouth canning jar funnel and place it into the top of the bag. Then I use the two large wooden spoons like a post hole digger to capture a good amount of the coated popcorn between the spoons, which I then put over the funnel and proceed to drop the coated popcorn into the funnel.
Typically you will have to use the spoons with each other to get all the popcorn from them and down through the funnel into the paper bag. Repeat the process until the bag is full.
Remove the bag from the plastic storage container and smack the bottom of it gently on a hard counter surface to cause the popcorn to settle in the bag. Repeat the filling process with that bag until it is again full. Then repeat the procedure to settle the popcorn in the bag.
At this point you are ready to seal the bag with whatever material/closure came with the bag for that purpose. Seal it and put it aside and proceed to do the second bag.
Repeat the entire above process for the other two quarts of popcorn and the second 1/2 lb. of white chocolate.
You now have four one quart bags of white chocolate popcorn sealed to keep the product fresh.
Use the white chocolate popcorn within two to three weeks while it is still very fresh. You can store it in the pantry.
This delightful and very tasty snack makes a great gift or snack item to bring to a party. It is the combination of crunch with both sweet and slightly salty flavors that does the trick. Enjoy!