Project: Popcorn

by byn on July 3, 2012

in Candy

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I’m not sure I’m ever going to have the occasion to make 120 cups of candy-covered popcorn again in my life, but I thought I would document the process here just in case!

This was for my childhood friend Marlena’s baby shower. We got to chatting back in April at Nicole’s house, and she asked if I could help make treats for her shower. I thought it would be cupcakes or cookies, but in addition to those (she had other friends helping her with those projects) she also wanted a popcorn buffet. I had never heard of this before, but it’s totally a thing!

After a few phone calls, texts and Facebook messages, we decided on how this was going to happen; 120 cups of popcorn covered in blue and orange Wilton candy melts, presented in a variety of vases Marlena had leftover from her bridal shower. She would have scoops for the popcorn, and little paper take-out boxes with ribbon and a sticker that said “Thanks for POPing by!” (or was it “Marlena’s ready to POP!” – I can’t remember).

So using my brother’s method for air-popping popcorn, here’s what I discovered:

  • Popping 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup of kernals at a time got me about 6 cups of popcorn. So yes, to get 120 cups, I did this 20 times. I re-used each bag 3 or 4 times.
  • In my trial run I learned that if you try to pop any more than that in a regular brown lunch bag, it’ll open and pop all over the microwave.
  • Optimal popping time is 2 minutes, 8 seconds, but of course this would vary depending on your microwave.
  • It’s important to dump the popcorn into one bowl, shake, and then scoop it into a separate bowl. This ensured that I didn’t add any of the unpopped kernals.
  • A 12oz bag of Wilton candy melts will cover 12 cups of popcorn, so 1 oz per cup, obviously. I feel like this information could come in handy in the future…although I’m not sure why at this moment.
  • I had the genious idea of buying a plastic table cloth from the dollar store and spreading it out on my dining room table. This allowed me to spread out all the popcorn to set, but I also kept my AC on over night to make sure this would happen. (It also made for easy clean-up!)
  • The popcorn will soften a touch overnight, so it won’t have that freshly popped super crunch factor, but this was probably detectable only by me. I wouldn’t make it any earlier because on my trial run it started to go stale after the 2nd or 3rd day.
  • The candy sets nicely, and won’t smear the vases when you add it in.
  • The whole process took two and a half hours, or the full DVD of Beyonce live at Roseland, and half of Jay-Z’s Fade to Black.

I don’t have any pictures of the popcorn at the shower, but if I can steal one off Facebook I’ll post it here! This would be really cute for a bridal shower or baby shower, or any party with a popcorn lover. I would just say that the candy is VERY sweet, but that’s just me!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Tatiana July 3, 2012 at 8:20 pm

What an impressive scale!
I read all your tips and notes so carefully, and I’m also not sure why, I don’t think I’ll be making candy covered popcorn… I think the scientific tone of this post is especially appealing ;)
Also, little by Little I’m getting to see your apartment

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