The idea for this popcorn was actually born out of a Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream dessert I made eons ago before going plant based.
Cherry and chocolate are another classic Valentine Day classic that pair so well together. Almost as good as Strawberries and Chocolate! If strawberry flavor is more your thing, be sure to check out our super easy Strawberry and Cream Dessert with Cacao Pecan Crunch!
Back to popcorn though, because if you follow this blog or know me at all, you know my sweet weakness is popcorn. I mean seriously – there are so many ways you can make a dessert popcorn, just to name a few:
Valentine’s Day Plans…Not So Much
Since having kids, Valentine’s Day has somewhat fell by the wayside as a celebratory holiday for my husband and me – anyone else understand that?
It’s more about the perfect valentine for the kids classmates and attending school parties. And that is a-okay! It’s all about the season of life of you are in and being comfortable with where you are at in your relationship and with yourself.
By all means – this doesn’t mean I didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day to the nines in my pre-kid days! Romantic wine weekends away, candlelit dinners and more.
So however you are celebrating – at your kids class party or with a romantic getaway – just choose to be present! I think that is the best ‘love’ gift of all.
But Dessert Plans…YASSS
But just because you don’t make a huge deal out of celebrating doesn’t mean you still can’t get in the festive spirit of the holiday and make something special!
The way to a mans heart is through his stomach?
Well maybe or maybe not. But this popcorn is the way to my heart!
Is it healthy? NO! But a few nibbles won’t totally ruin your diet. And on a scale of 1 – 10 it is probably healthier than a huge slice of cake (see how I justified that?)
So just being upfront – it has artificial flavoring, sugar and oil. It does not have red food coloring though – beet root powder provides a nice light red tint to the candied popcorn. I have learned that just a few nibbles are good with me but if you are prone to having a sweet tooth, then you may want to package some up for neighbors, friends or co-workers!
BUT it is yummy. And cherry flavored. With mini chocolate chips.
Variations of Cherry Chip Popcorn
My husband totally wanted me to melt the chips and pour it on the popcorn. But that would have made this Chocolate Covered Cherry Popcorn not Cherry Chip popcorn.
If you agree with him, though, be my guest. Melt your allergy friendly chocolate chips in the microwave or double boiler and spread over popcorn while it is cooling.
Long story on this other variation – okay not so long.
I might have still had a handful of my Candied Eggnog Popcorn in the house and mixed together a little of that popcorn with the cherry chip popcorn. The combo was surprising delicious. SO if you want to be adventurous you could add a pinch of cinnamon to the candied sauce.
Will it Taste Like Cherry Cough Syrup?
A valid question because I honestly wondered that as well!
And unless you really really really have a hatred of cherry cough syrup it does not taste like you are being forced to have medicine in candy form.
It tastes like candied cherries. (Cherry jolly rancher fans, rejoice!)
SO are you ready to make Cherry Chip popcorn?
Let’s do this!
Cherry Chip Popcorn (Vegan + Gluten Free)
Cherry chip popcorn is cherry flavored and both gluten free and vegan.
Servings: 4 servings
- 12 cups air popped popcorn
- 3/4 cup + 2 Tblsp white granulated sugar (vegan approved)
- 1/4 cup + 1 Tblsp agave nectar
- 2 Tblsp coconut oil
- 2 tsp beet powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cream of tarter
- 1/2 tsp of baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cherry flavoring (I used )
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (vegan + allergy free)
- Place your air popped popcorn in large bowl.
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
- Place all ingredients EXCEPT baking soda and flavoring (and popcorn!) in small saucepan.
- Bring saucepan to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Continue to let your candied sauce boil, stirring occasionally until a candy thermometer reads 250. THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT.
- Remove from heat and quickly stir in baking soda and cherry flavoring.
- Pour over popcorn in bowl and stir really well until popcorn is coating.
- Place on prepared baking pan.
- Cook for 30 minutes stirring after 15 minutes.
- Cool on parchment covered wire racks.
- Sprinkle chocolate chips over popcorn.