Time to get your popcorn on! This recipe for Patriotic Popcorn is a sweet and colorful way to celebrate the 4th of July. Read on for the instructions so that you can make your own!
I’m all about creative popcorn ideas. Remember my Chocolate Toffee Popcorn Recipe? It’s sweet, delightful and makes for the perfect movie night snack.
Well, my Patriotic Popcorn recipe is just as delicious and I can’t wait to share it with you! This recipe yields 24 cups of popped popcorn, which is about ¾ cup of unpopped kernels. You know what that means? Plenty of Patriotic Popcorn to share for everyone!
- 24 cups popped popcorn (approx. ¾ cup unpopped kernels)
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 ½ cup half and half (you may also use whole milk or 2% but will not be as rich)
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 tbsp light corn syrup
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract (clear extract will help keep the mixture a little lighter)
- Gel food color in red & royal blue
- 10 oz white chocolate chips
Divide popped popcorn into two very large mixing bowls. (You will want them to be large enough so you can easily mix in the colored syrup.)
In a large saucepan, combine sugar, half & half, corn syrup and salt.
Insert a candy thermometer into the saucepan and cook mixture over medium heat until sugar completely dissolves.
Bring mixture to a low boil, stirring frequently, until temperature reaches
230 degrees F (soft ball stage). It will take at least 20 minutes to reach this temperature. (Hint: If you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can also check if the mixture is ready by putting a small spoonful into a cup of very cold water. If it forms a soft ball when dropped in when ready.)
Once mixture reaches 230 degrees F, stir in vanilla and remove from heat.
Divide mixture between two bowls or measuring cups (be sure they are both heatproof!). Add red gel coloring into one bowl and blue into the other. (I opted for ¼ tsp of each color, but you may use more if you’d like a stronger color).
Stir each mixture well to incorporate the color into the syrup completely. As you’re mixing, the syrups may look brown, but as you stir, the shades will come through from the gel food colors.
Working quickly, add one colored syrup to each bowl of popcorn. Fold and mix with a large spoon or your hands to completely cover the popcorn. (Careful, because the mixture may be hot at first. I recommend starting with a spoon then using your hands, if desired. I highly recommend food gloves for this step.)
If the syrup sets up too much, you can microwave it for 10-15 seconds to get it to a runnier consistency.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Spread each color of popcorn onto a separate parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until crisp.
Once time is up, remove from oven and allow to cool.
Add white chocolate into a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl.
Microwave the chocolate in 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until completely melted.
Using a fork or spoon, drizzle the white chocolate over both pans of popcorn. Allow for the chocolate to set before serving.