Sargent Choice Test Kitchen: Peppermint Bark Popcorn


Sargent Choice Peppermint Bark Popcorn

December 6, 2022

Patricia Isabel Orus Deya, Nutrition and Public Health Major

Recipe adapted from Cookie & Kate
Yield: ~8 cups


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • ⅓ cup crushed peppermint candy
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  1. Cover a large jelly roll pan/baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Pour the oil into a large, heavy-bottomed pan with a lid (a medium-sized Dutch oven is perfect). Turn the heat up to medium, add 2 kernels of corn, and cover.
  3. Once the kernels pop, remove the lid and pour in the remaining popcorn kernels. Cover the pot and give the pot a shake to distribute the kernels evenly.
  4. Cook over medium heat, shaking the pot occasionally. Crack the lid just a smidge so the popcorn stays crisp and cook until the popping sound slows to about one pop every few seconds. Remove the pan from heat and dump the popcorn onto the parchment paper-covered pan. Salt it and pick out any kernels that didn’t pop.
  5. Place the candy canes in a plastic bag. Use a hammer or meat pounder to finely crush the candy canes.
  6. Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl in twenty-second bursts, stirring between each, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
  7. Use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate over the popcorn. Working quickly, sprinkle the popcorn with crushed candy canes (and nuts, if using). Lightly sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt if desired. Wait until the chocolate is completely set before breaking with your hands. If you are in a hurry, transfer the sheet pan to the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to speed setting.

What We Liked

  • We really like that it was a holiday season-inspired snack!
  • Every student liked the combination of sweet and savory flavors.


  • If you do not have a pan you can buy microwavable popcorn and add the melted chocolate and crushed candy cane afterward
  • Serve with seasonal fruit such as pomegranate seeds or clementine slices and add a protein such as crunchy chopped nuts or a glass of milk/soymilk on the side!

Nutritional Value

  • Popcorn is actually considered a whole grain! That means it contains all components of the grain and delivers a lot of nutrition in each bite, including energy, fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and heart healthy oils.