It’s that time of year again—time to celebrate this fine nation’s independence the way our forefathers would want us to. With fellowship, fun…and food! If you’re anything like me (and most other Americans), the 4th of July is the perfect excuse to throw a red, white and blue cookout. Burgers and hot dogs are a given—but this year, I was trying to come up with a unique side that would fit in with our patriotic party. This is one of my new favorites—and the best part? You can change it up and use many different colors, so it’s party-perfect all year long.
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- Vegetable oil
- Popcorn kernels
- Salt, to taste
- White baking chocolate
- Red and blue food coloring
- Parchment paper
Pour vegetable oil into a medium pot and place one popcorn kernel in the center. Cover and heat over medium heat until the kernel pops. Carefully pour popcorn kernels until it covers the bottom of the pot, but in just one layer. Remove from heat when the popcorn stops popping for 3 seconds. Pour into bowl and sprinkle salt over popcorn, if desired.* Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet—this will need to fit into your fridge or freezer. Spread the popcorn in one layer on the parchment paper. Heat the white chocolate per the instructions—I use a shorter drinking glass—and once it’s melted, add the red food coloring and stir in. In a diagonal, back-and-forth motion, drizzle the red chocolate over the popcorn. Heat more of the chocolate bark in another glass, this time using the blue food coloring. Repeat the drizzle step, but in the opposite direction so that it criss-crosses with the red. Place in the fridge or freezer and let the chocolate harden. Break apart the popcorn into large chunks, and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve (this keeps it from tasting stale)!
*You can use microwave popcorn instead of the oil and kernels—I would just suggest using a plain, unbuttered kind.
Additional Tip: Many craft stores sell colored candy wafers, and those work just as well as the white chocolate bark. Use different colors and make this easy recipe for every occasion!
If you’re looking for a new and different side to enhance your Independence Day celebration, try this new one out! Throw in some fireworks at the end of the night, and we’re talking about the perfect summertime soirée.