This came from The White House Cookbook. We don't follow their
recipe exactly - it says to cook to hard-crack but we like the
sugary-textured popcorn better. We make this up in batches of
different color for different holidays - let the batches set up for
a few minutes and then mix them together. People will wonder how you
made popcorn in all different colors.
This is really cheap to make, makes a lot, and is kind of a fun
thing to take to a holiday potluck. We add the food coloring - just
a few drops - right after we take the syrup off the heat. We don't
actually ever try to get real "red" - it gets too bitter with enough
food coloring to do that.
Valentines - 1 batch pale pink, one batch darker pink, one batch
St. Patrick's Day - 1 batch green, 1 batch white
Easter - 1 batch each of white, blue, pink, green, yellow (and mix
other colors - to make colors like violet and orange - to make other
batches if you need that much popcorn!)
Cinco De Mayo - 1 batch green, 1 batch red, 1 batch white
4th of July - 1 batch dark pink, 1 batch blue, 1 batch white
Halloween & Thanksgiving - 1 batch orange, 1 batch white.
Christmas - 1 batch red (dark pink, actually), 1 batch green, 1
Pop up a large bowl of popcorn - like about a dutch oven full - for
each batch you are making. Transfer to another bowl with your hands,
leaving the "old maids" behind. Spray a bowl or pan with non-stick
coating or rub with butter. Pour in your popped corn. Sprinkle
lightly with salt (optional).
In a large pan or dutch oven (teflon really helps, too), put 1 Cup
sugar, 2 T butter or margarine, and 3 T water. Bring to a boil, let
boil, stirring constantly, a couple of minutes. Remove from heat,
add a little food coloring, stir, then immediately drizzle over
popcorn, stirring the popcorn all the time. It really helps if you
have someone help.
Keep stirring the popcorn until it's pretty evenly coated with the
sugar. Then let it sit for a few minutes to set up. Then put it in
another bowl (or a grocery sack) while you make the next color. Dump
in each successive batch when it is set up. When you have done all
the colors you want, shake the bag to mix all the colors. You can do
this with walnuts and other nuts. Put the nuts in the syrup and stir
until coated and at least partially set up and separated, rather
than the drizzling part.