Makes about 16 cups
Popcorn, especially when lightly kissed with white chocolate, makes a great canvas for other flavors, like cinnamon and blue raspberry. You can experiment with other hard candies, such as candy canes and toffee, to create your own signature holiday treat.
4 ounces (about ½ cup) cinnamon hard candy, such as Red Hots
½ cup unpopped popcorn, or about 18 cups popped
5 ounces (scant 1 cup) white chocolate melting wafers (such as Ghirardelli or Wilton)
Lay a sheet of parchment paper on the counter to hold the finished popcorn while it hardens. Place the cinnamon candy in a heavy-duty sealable plastic bag and close. Using a hammer or meat tenderizer and a hard surface like a cutting board, smash the candy into small pieces, about ƒ to ¼ inch in size. Be careful not to crush the candy to a powder. Reserve.
Follow product directions to pop the corn on stovetop or in air popper. Transfer to a very large bowl, removing any unpopped kernels. Set aside.
Melt the chocolate wafers in a double boiler over just-simmering water, or in a microwave using half power and 30-second bursts, stirring between bursts until melted.
Drizzle the melted chocolate over the popcorn and toss the contents of the bowl to coat all the popcorn kernels, using your hands to distribute the chocolate if necessary. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon kosher salt (or more, to taste) and crushed candy over the popcorn and toss again until the mixture is homogeneous.
Spread out the candied popcorn on the parchment paper to allow the chocolate to harden. Once hardened, store the candied popcorn in an airtight container until ready to serve.
Denise Drower Swidey is a frequent contributor to the Globe Magazine. Send comments to email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter @BostonGlobeMag.