Appetizers & Snacks, Holiday's & Traditions, Recipes

Candied Pecan and Sea Salt Popcorn Holiday Gift Tutorial

This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions as always are my own. #ShareTheHoliday #CollectiveBias

A few years back I started a tradition for all my younger cousins in my family. We are a movie night kind of family, and since most of us are on a break for the holidays, I thought it would be fun to give them something they can enjoy while they’re off of school and work for the holiday break. Every year I give them ONE movie ticket in their Christmas card. Not two, one. The first year I did this my husband thought it was silly. My cousins laughed and thought it was a joke, but it wasn’t. It was kinda funny actually! You should have seen their expressions. They had that confused, not sure this is right kind of look on their faces. I couldn’t help laughing too.

And so it began each year after that – The movie ticket tradition!

They all know now when I hand them a Christmas card, there most likely will be one movie ticket in it. This year I’ve decided to add a little something extra with their movie ticket. A special homemade snack from their (second-to-oldest) cousin who loves them like a big sister.

Candied Pecan and Sea Salt Popcorn

Candied pecans with popcorn 1.1I thought distributing the popcorn was going to be tricky since I want to gift the popcorn in different sizes; for one person, a couple, or a family. Also, they would have to withstand the drive to and from their destination along with other packages in the car. Once I started thinking in food packaging mode, the solution was simple! Use different sized Rubbermaid TakeAlongs! So, I was off to the only place I knew I would find everything on my list – Walmart.

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First on the list were the containers because once I had those in the cart, that would determine what materials I was going to need to wrap them. Rubbermaid TakeAlongs are always the first to come to mind because they always come in a variety of festive colors and prints for the holidays. Plus, they have convenient sizes that are perfect for gifting food. I picked up three different sizes: Red TakeAlongs Serving Bowls for a few families, Red TakeAlongs Deep Rectangles for the couples, and Green TakeAlongs Deep Squares for the single folk ;).

Let’s start with the popcorn.

Candied pecans with popcorn 18.2

Candied pecans with popcorn 9.1If you’ve ever been afraid to attempt to make a caramel coated popcorn, you’ll be happy to hear this popcorn does not require a stove-top caramelizing step!

Whaaaaaaaaat??!

That’s right. All easy peasy over here.

So lets go!

Candied pecans with popcorn 10.1All the ingredients should be at room temperature. Preheat your oven to 250F degrees.

In a deep bowl, melt the maple syrup with butter in the microwave for 20 seconds. If the butter is still in one piece, you can melt it again another 10 or 15 seconds. Depends on your microwave.

Candied pecans with popcorn 12.1Add the sugar, stir, then microwave again another 30 seconds.

Add the cinnamon and salt. Stir well again. Microwave another 30 seconds.

Candied pecans with popcorn 13.1Add the pecan chips, stir, aaaaaannnnnnd microwave another 30 seconds.

Candied pecans with popcorn 15Add it all to the popcorn and mix well with two serving spoons.

Candied pecans with popcorn 17Distribute it all evenly over a 16 1/2″ x 11 1/2″ rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 20 minutes. Stir once after 10 minutes in the oven.

Candied pecans with popcorn 8Once it’s cool enough to touch, transfer popcorn to containers. Be careful of eating too many ;).

They’re kind of addicting.

Wrap them any which way you like, however I’ll show you how I wrapped the Rubbermaid TakeAlongs Serving Bowls since they were the biggest. I wanted to make them a little more memorable and earth friendly, so I used fabric and Christmas decor accents that I found at Walmart.

Candied pecans with popcorn 19Place the bowl directly in the center of a 35″ x 35″ square piece of fabric. Fold one side over the bowl.

Candied pecans with popcorn 20Fold the other side over making sure to fold the edge underneath the fold.

Candied pecans with popcorn 21Bring one end in by pulling the fabric up on all sides making pleats as you go.

Candied pecans with popcorn 23Cross it over and repeat with the other side.

Candied pecans with popcorn 24Slightly twist/wrap the two sides over each other to make an X, then tuck each end under its own fold.

Candied pecans with popcorn 26Continue wrapping one end around the other until you can fully tuck it in. You’re basically making a hook and tucking it under its own fold.

Candied pecans with popcorn 27Secure the knot with yarn or string underneath so it doesn’t become unfolded during transport.

Candied pecans with popcorn 28Voilà!

Now to decorate!Candied pecans with popcorn 3.2I hope you have fun making your own popcorn containers!

Right now, Walmart shoppers can take advantage of a special $1 rebate from Ibotta when you buy 2 Rubbermaid TakeAlongs products. Don’t wait! Get the rebate here!

What are some types of food you like to gift? I’d love to hear your ideas!

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Candied Pecan and Sea Salt Popcorn Holiday Gift Tutorial
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Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 8 cups plain popped popcorn
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ sea salt
  • ½ cup pecan chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250F degrees.
  2. In a deep bowl, melt the maple syrup with butter in the microwave for 20 seconds. If the butter is still in one piece, you can melt it again another 10 or 15 seconds.
  3. Add the sugar, stir, then microwave again another 30 seconds.
  4. Add the cinnamon and salt. Stir well again. Microwave another 30 seconds.
  5. Add the pecan chips, stir, microwave another 30 seconds. Add it all to the popcorn and mix well with two serving spoons.
  6. Distribute it all evenly over a 16½″ x 11½″ rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes. Stir once after 10 minutes in the oven.