When I initially made this I was mildly concerned that I had made far too much and I realize now what a silly notion that was. I’ve been catching myself snacking on this stuff for breakfast, all throughout the day, after dinner, and well.. right now! It’s sweet, salty, crunchy, pepperminty, festive, and clearly just a wee bit addicting! It makes a huge batch which is great if you’re making DIY treat bags for gifts orrrrr if you’re just a selfish snacker and want it all to yourself. No judgement here.
3 Tbs olive oil
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
1/2 cup White Peppermint M&M’s (regular is just fine too)
1/2 cup peanut mix (I used Planter’s Winter Spiced Mix)
1/2 cup pretzels, broken up into pieces
1/2 cup finely crushed candy cane pieces (roughly 5 candy canes)
12oz vanilla almond bark
Heat olive oil in a large pot (make sure it has a lid!) over medium to high heat. Once hot, add popcorn kernels and cover. Kernels will pop for about 30 seconds to a minute. When you no longer hear popping, give the pot a gentle shake to loosen any unpopped kernels and remove from heat immediately. Transfer to a large bowl and remove any unpopped or overcooked kernels.
Line a large edged cookie sheet with wax paper and set aside.
Combine M&M’s, peanut mix, pretzels, and most of the crushed candy canes (reserve about 1 Tbs of the smaller pieces and powder to sprinkle on top at the end) in a small bowl and stir to mix. Set aside until ready to use.
In a small saucepan over low to medium heat melt down the almond bark, stirring every few minutes until completely smooth.
Slowly pour over the popcorn in increments while adding the crunchy mix as well. This is so that the crunchy mixture doesn’t settle all to the bottom. Use a rubber spatula to get remaining almond bark out of the pan and then toss popcorn and crunchy mixture to evenly coat and mix. Next you’ll transfer to the prepared baking sheet while still warm and spread out in an even layer.
Sprinkle with remaining candy cane bits and sprinkles.
Allow 5 to 10 minutes for it to set up and harden. Break into small chunks and transfer to an airtight sealing container. Store at room temperature for up to a week and a half.. but there’s no way you won’t consume it before then!