Gooey Popcorn Christmas Tree Recipe

Gooey Popcorn Christmas Tree Recipe
Popcorn is a popular treat during the holidays; it's never served plain, of course. Rather, it's coated with caramel or syrupy concoctions in dozens of flavors. The following Gooey Popcorn Christmas Tree is fun to make, and just as fun to eat. The popcorn is coated with a gooey green syrup and dried cranberries (ornaments) are stirred in as well as nuts (pinecones). The mixture is then formed into a tall Christmas tree. A second batch of popcorn is coated in a white marshmallow syrup, a small part of which is drizzled on the main tree to resemble snow on the branches. Kids love to help, especially the ones who like to get their hands messy.
This yummy popcorn tree is ideal for a centerpiece on a Christmas buffet. Guests will enjoy destroying it by grabbing gooey handfuls; it's quite addicting. Almonds or peanuts most resemble pinecones, but you can use any salted nuts that you like. If you happen to have marshmallows that have been ignored at the back of the cupboard and have gone hard, you can use them in this recipe. It will take longer for them to dissolve, but the recipe will turn out the same. Incidentally, this tree can be made up to two weeks ahead. Once set, cover with plenty of plastic wrap.

48 Servings

12 quarts plain popcorn, (48 cups) divided

2 cups sugar
2 cups light corn syrup
2 3 oz. packages lime gelatin
2 10 oz. packages marshmallows
1/2 cup butter
Green gel food coloring
2 cups dried cranberries
2 cups salted nuts

1 cup sugar
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup butter
1 10 oz. package marshmallows

Edible Glitter
  1. Spray 2 large bowls and a baking sheet with non-stick spray; Measure 8 quarts of the popcorn into one bowl, and 4 quarts of the popcorn into the second bowl.
  2. Tree Layer: Bring the sugar and syrup to a boil in a large pot, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Turn heat to the lowest setting and stir in gelatin until dissolved; stir in enough food coloring to make a bright green color.
  4. Add the butter and marshmallows, stirring over low heat until the marshmallows are melted and the mixture is smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture over the 8 quarts popcorn and stir to mix well; stir in the cranberries and nuts.
  6. Transfer to the baking sheet and with buttered hands, form into a tree with branches sticking out. This is easiest done in layers, starting with a large bottom in the shape of a star, then each layer a slightly smaller star with the points between the points on the layer below.
  7. Snow layer: Mix the gelatin and sugar well.
  8. Add them to a medium saucepan with the light corn syrup.
  9. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  10. Add the butter and marshmallows; stir over low heat until the marshmallows are melted and the mixture is smooth.
  11. Drizzle a small amount of the syrup over the branches of the tree to resemble snow.
  12. Pour the remaining syrup over the remaining popcorn and mix well.
  13. Spray a large serving platter with non-stick spray.
  14. Press the popcorn on the tray and top with the green tree.
  15. Sprinkle with edible glitter.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 282 Calories from Fat 51
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 18% Protein 4% Carb. 78%

Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 6 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 8 mg
Sodium 83 mg
Total Carbohydrate 55 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 13 g
Protein 3 g

Vitamin A 2% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 0% Iron 7%

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This content was written by Karen Hancock. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Karen Hancock for details.