Since my son began a traditional daycare in August (versus an in-home daycare), I’ve been quickly introduced to the world of daycare parties. Daycare parties require treats and not just any treat; the foods must be appealing to the very young and often toothless crowd. Add in the pressure of living in a Pinterest world and it can be quite stressful.
For Valentine’s Day, I was pretty set on cupcakes since I already had Valentine cupcake liners left over from years past. However, I was late to signing up and cupcakes were already spoken for. After searching the web, I settled on a Valentine Snack Mix. There were lots of options and out there and I ultimately chose one that used popcorn as the base because my son LOVES popcorn (as do I). I omitted the nuts because so many kids have nut allergies these days.
Coating popcorn with candy coating is not something I’d ever considered doing. But it turned out really good. Another mom made a similar mix with plain puffcorn rather than popcorn. If you’re not acquainted, puffcorn is not corn at all, it’s basically a puffy Cheeto shaped like popcorn. The plain variety is basically a Cheeto with no cheese. I sampled my son’s treat bag of it and found it tasty.
I also used Goldfish pretzels instead of regular pretzels because, well, toddlers…Goldfish…you know.
5 to 6 cups of plain popcorn (I used Orville Redenbacher’s Naturals as it seemed it would be the plainest)
1 tray of white candy coating (such as Candiquick) or almond bark
Valentine Nonpareils (fancy word for sprinkles, who knew?)
1 package of Pretzel Goldfish
1 bag of Valentine M&M Candies
Prepare popcorn according to package directions. I found that one bag yielded the 5 to 6 cups that I needed. I poured my popcorn out into a glass measuring bowl to measure it then placed it one handful at a time into a larger bowl. I did this so I could be sure to pick out any unpopped kernels that might irritate little teeth.
Next, melt candy coating/bark as directed on package. Once it’s melted, pour over popcorn and mix very gently. Too aggressive with the spoon and the popcorn will break! Spread the coated popcorn on a sheet of wax paper and sprinkle with the nonpareils. In hindsight, I would also add some M&M candies at this stage because they sort of fell to the bottom of the mix.
Let the candy coating cool and set which takes about 15 minutes. Break apart the popcorn and mix in your candy and pretzel Goldfish. Store in airtight container. Can be divided out into gift bags for maximum cuteness.
Thanks Home is Where the Boat Is for the Pin-spiration!
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