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Party popcorn

Your favorite snack just got a gourmet upgrade.

One of the simple pleasures in life is a bowl of perfectly popped popcorn. Food blogger Ashton Swank, of Something Swanky, started experimenting with the snack, which she refers to as an “edible blank canvas” while in college. “Everything about popcorn begs to be covered, smothered, drizzled and sprinkled with something exciting and delicious,” she write in her new book “Party Popcorn” in which she shares 75 of her favorite sweet and savory recipes.

Hook up a bag of the snack for your next party or just cuddle up on the couch with a movie and a batch of Swank’s Hot Chocolate recipe below.

Excerpted from PARTY POPCORN: 75 CREATIVE RECIPES FOR EVERYONE’S FAVORITE SNACK © 2014 by Ashton Epps Swank. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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Hot Chocolate Popcorn

SERVES 6

Prep time : 10 minutes

Cook time : 0 minutes

Cool time : 20 minutes

This popcorn recipe makes me want to pull out the ribbons and bows, tug on my mittens and earmuffs, and head out into the snow to sing carols and give my neighbors great big bags of these hot chocolaty munchies. Have a little extra fun with this popcorn and sprinkle peppermint bits on top.

Ingredients
8 cups popped popcorn

½ cup miniature marshmallows

1 cup milk chocolate melting candy

1 tablespoon instant hot chocolate mix

¼ cup white chocolate or vanilla melting candy

Instructions
Pour the popcorn into a large bowl and remove any unpopped kernels. Add the marshmallows to the bowl.

Place the milk chocolate melting candy in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium power for 1 minute. Stir until melted and smooth. If needed, add additional heating time in 30-second increments, stirring after each time, until the candy is melted and smooth. Whisk the hot chocolate mix into the melting candy.

Pour the melted candy over the popcorn. Using a large rubber spatula, gently stir to coat.

Spread the popcorn mixture on a large piece of parchment paper or a large silicone baking mat.

Place the white melting candy in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium power for 30 seconds. Stir until melted and smooth. If needed, heat for an additional 30 seconds.

Transfer the melted white candy to a zip-top bag or piping bag. Press all the air out of the bag and snip the corner off. Use this bag to drizzle the melted candy across the popcorn.

Allow to cool until the chocolate coating has hardened, about 20 minutes. Break into pieces before packaging or transferring to a bowl to serve immediately. The popcorn may be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

 
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