This quick and easy elf maple popcorn is the perfect holiday sweet treat! And it’s a great pairing with the Elf movie, or Elf on a Shelf!
- 12 cups popped popcorn, salted
- ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon maple flavored extract (or skip the butter, brown sugar, and maple extract and just use 1/2–1 cup real maple syrup)
- 1 cup marshmallows
- 1/2 cup candy covered sunflower seeds, optional, or other multi colored candy
- 2 cups Bugles Original Crispy Corn Snack
- Green candy melts
- Pink candy melts
- Yellow candy melts
- Red candy melts
For the Elf Hats
- Line a baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper.
- Melt the green candy melts according to the package directions. Wedge a Bugle snack on a fork and dip into melted candy coating. Tap the fork against the side of the bowl to remove excess.
- Use a toothpick to slide the coated Bugle snack onto the waxed paper. Repeat as desired. Allow candied Bugles to set completely.
- Repeat the process with the pink candy melts. Allow candied Bugles to set completely.
- Heat the yellow candy melts according to package directions. Place melted candy into a plastic freezer bag or candy decorating bag. Snip the end slightly. Drizzle yellow candy over each green-coated Bugle to resemble a stripe on the elf hat. I also added a red colored sunflower seed to be the buckle on the hat stripe. Allow candied Bugles to set completely before mixing with snack mix.
- Heat the red candy melts according to package directions. Place melted candy into a zip top freezer bag or candy decorating bag. Snip the end slightly. Drizzle red candy over each pink-coated Bugle to resemble a stripe on the elf hat. Allow candied Bugles to set completely before mixing with snack mix.
For the Popcorn
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Top with cooked and salted popcorn.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar to melted butter and stir until combined. Pour the maple extract into the mixture and stir well. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes. Skip this step if you’re using real maple syrup.
- Pour sugar (or maple syrup) over the popcorn. Toss to coat.
- Add remaining ingredients and decorated Bugles. Toss well and serve.
If you prefer a crunchy popcorn, add the sugar mixture/syrup to the popcorn and toss to coat. Then, bake the popcorn in a 250 degree oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Allow popcorn to cool completely. Break into pieces and then add remaining ingredients.