M&M Popcorn

A party on a sheet pan! Make M&M Popcorn your favorite movie night or game day snack!

close up of M&M popcorn

Even at $8.99 a bag, I couldn’t resist buying a bag of Candy Pop M&M Popcorn at Costco. For our family of 5, it was demolished in 1 movie night!

Fluffy, salty popcorn. Decadent chocolate drizzles. All those crunchy, fun mini M and Ms. So good!

It wasn’t long before I wanted to make an at-home version. To my surprise, M&M Popcorn turned out easier than expected! And cost-effective. With fun Jackson Pollock-like drizzles and splatters. Our favorite new movie night snack was born!

sheet pan filled with M&M popcorn

What is M&M Popcorn?

M&M Popcorn is an easy and delicious way to jazz up regular popcorn. Gorgeous drizzles of dark chocolate and crunchy candy-coated mini M&Ms make this a favorite for movie nights or game days!

The inspiration came from a bag of Candy Pops Popcorn. As an avid homemade popcorn maker, I wanted to make an affordable version that highlighted all my favorite flavors and textures: crunchy popcorn, bittersweet chocolate, mini M&Ms, with a healthy dose of flaky sea salt!

Ingredients:

The best part of homemade popcorn? You can customize to your liking! Make it your own by choosing ingredients you like best.

  • Popcorn. Make homemade popcorn or use microwave popcorn — whatever is easier for you!
  • Chocolate Chips. Bittersweet chocolate chips are my preferred, not-too-sweet addition. But you can replace with any kind of chips – milk chocolate, butterscotch, white chocolate, etc.
  • Oil. A little bit keeps the chocolate chips smooth and easy to drizzle. Grapeseed or any vegetable oil will work.
  • Mini M&Ms. I prefer the crunch and texture of mini M&Ms. But sub with regular or peanut M&Ms, or Reese’s Pieces, if you prefer.
  • Flaky sea salt. Adds to that salty-sweet vibe.

Tips for the BEST M&M Popcorn:

  • Season WARM popcorn. Add salt while the popcorn is still warm. Everything sticks better.
  • Microwave chocolate in short bursts. 15-30 second bursts will properly melt the chocolate chips.
  • Use a small spoon to drizzle chocolate. A small narrow spoon makes for even, thin drizzles.
  • Arrange popcorn in one layer, slightly touching each other. Crowding popcorn this way ensures the drizzles will land on the popcorn, not the sheet pans.
  • Add mini M&Ms to warm chocolate. When the chocolate hardens, the M&Ms will stick!

FAQ: Why is my melted chocolate not hardening?

If melted chocolate is heated too quickly or forcefully, it will remain soft and refuse to harden. The process of tempering chocolate can be tricky.

The key is to make sure the temperature does not exceed 90F/32C.

I recommend heating the chocolate chips in short bursts of 15-30 seconds in the microwave, stirring after each turn. But do not melt the chips all the way! Heat until they are halfway melted. Then stir and let the residual heat gently melt the rest of the chocolate chips.

Otherwise, use a thermometer to more accurately guage the temperature.

FAQ: Why did my chocolate turn pasty and hard?

When melted chocolate comes into contact with water, it can “seize.” The result is a lumpy, chalky mess that does not drizzle or pour well.

To prevent seizing, I recommend using a microwave in short bursts of 15-30 seconds. Open the door each time to let the heat escape. This prevents potential humidity and condensation build up from the microwave.

However, all microwaves differ. Some units may be prone to humidity build up. If you’re having trouble melting the chocolate in a microwave, I suggest the double boiler method instead. A little more work but a guaranteed way to avoid seizing. Notes are in the recipe card below.

Other Movie Night or Game Day Favorites:

Tips for Homemade Popcorn:

I prefer homemade popcorn for this simple M&M Popcorn recipe. Make it once and you’ll never go back! Tastier, healthier, more affordable, and just as easy as the microwave kind.

Tips for the best homemade popcorn:

  • Stainless steel works best. Stainless steel pots are lightweight and evenly distribute heat.
  • Use a large pot, preferably with a glass lid. Popped popcorn expands enormously! You will need a larger pot than you think. Also, if you have a glass lid — it’s fun to watch the popcorn pop.
  • Heat on medium. Don’t be tempted to use high heat! You’ll end up with burnt kernels. Use medium heat and wait (patiently) for the pot to get hot enough.
  • Don’t skimp on the oil. The kernels need oil to pop into fluffy, light kernels. The bare minimum is 2 Tbsp for 1/2 cup of kernels.
  • Shake the pot. Shaking the pot will ensure even popping. All the unpopped kernels will sink to the bottom while the popped kernels rise to the top.
  • Transfer popcorn immediately. Once the popcorn is done, transfer to a serving bowl. Time is of the essence! Even residual heat from the pot can scorch popcorn.

Watch how to make easy M&M Popcorn:

close up of M&M popcorn

M&M Popcorn

The Subversive Table | Lis Lam
A party on a sheet pan! Make M&M Popcorn your favorite movie night or game day snack!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Chilling Time 1 hr
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 4 as snack

Equipment

  • Microwave
  • Large stainless steel pot with lid
  • 2 13×18" Sheet Pans

Ingredients
  

  • 2-3 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 cup mini M&Ms
  • flaky sea sat (I use Maldon flaky sea salt)

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil in a large stainless steel pot over medium heat. Be patient! It will take a few minutes. Once you see a few wisps of smoke, it's ready. If there's a lot of smoke, it's too hot; remove from heat and cool.
  • Add the kernels and cover tightly with lid. Shake the pan to evenly coat the kernels with oil. Wait for the popcorn to start popping.
  • When the popcorn starts popping, shake the pot and slide back and forth over the burner. All the unpopped kernels will sink to the bottom while the popped kernels rise to the top. Shaking the pot will ensure even popping!
  • The popcorn is done when popping slows down to several seconds between pops. Immediately remove from heat and divide between two 13×18" sheet pans. Sprinkle salt (1/4 tsp per sheet pan) over warm popcorn and toss quickly with hands. Set aside.
  • In a microwave proof container, add chocolate chips and 1 tsp oil. Mix gently with a spoon. Heat in microwave for 15-30 second bursts, opening the door of the microwave each time to prevent condensation build up and stirring after each round. When the chips are halfway melted but still somewhat firm, they are done. Stir gently and the residual heat should gently melt the rest of the chocolate chips.
  • Using the same spoon, drizzle the melted chocolate over the popcorn in a diagonal motion. Evenly and quickly, cover both sheet pans with chocolate drizzles. A few clumps of chocolate are ok but try to keep the chocolate evenly distributed for best flavor and texture.
  • Sprinkle mini M&Ms on top. Make sure the M&Ms are touching the chocolate so it can stick. Then sprinkle flaky sea salt all over.
  • Transfer sheet pans to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. The chocolate should harden.
  • Remove from the fridge and transfer to a large bowl, breaking up the big pieces into smaller sized chocolate covered popcorn chunks. Alternately, you can serve on the sheet pans. But I recommend breaking up the large chunks of chocolate covered popcorn first. Enjoy!

Notes

*Store leftovers in airtight container at room temperature or the fridge, if your home is warm.
**If you don’t have access to a microwave, use the double boiler method:  Add 1-inch of water to a medium saucepan.  Fit a stainless steel bowl on top, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.  Add chocolate chips + oil to the bowl and melt slowly and gently over medium heat.  Once the chocolate is halfway melted, removed from heat.  Stir gently and the residual heat will melt the rest of the chocolate.  
Keyword M&M, Popcorn

15 minutes, All Recipes, Dessert, Potluck, Sheet Pan, Snacks

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