I am candy maker who gets wrapped up in Christmas, For many years, I have given away my sweet treats in a popcorn sleigh. It's easy to do...and makes a fun, edible centerpiece, too. Just add a few candles and sprigs of pine to help set a festive scene.—Donna Torres, Grand Rapids, Minnesota
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 drops green food coloring
- 2 quarts popped popcorn
- 4 candy canes
- 2 large green gumdrops
- 6 red-hot candies
- Assorted wrapped peppermint candies
- In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water. Bring to a boil; cook without stirring until a candy thermometer reaches 250° (firm-ball stage). Remove from the heat; add the butter and food coloring. Set aside 2 tablespoons. Place the popcorn in a large bowl; drizzle with remaining syrup. Stir until well coated.
- For sleigh, press popcorn mixture onto the bottom and all the way up the ides of a greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan, forming a 1-in.-thick shell. Beginning 3 in. from one corner, remove a small amount of popcorn mixture from a long side, so side tapers toward front end, as shown in photo at lower left. Repeat on the other side. Remove from the pan. Curve the sleigh front toward the back.
- Microwave the reserved syrup for 20 seconds or until melted. Cut the rounded ends from two candy canes (save rounded ends for another use). For runners, attach a whole candy cane and a straight candy cane piece with syrup to the bottom of each long side of sleigh.
- For holly garnish, flatten gumdrops between waxed paper; cut each into three leaf shapes. Attach leaves and red-hot candies with syrup to each side. Fill sleigh with mint candies. Yield: 1 sleigh.
Originally published as Popcorn Sleigh in Taste of Home December/January 2004, p18
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