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Bourbon Chocolate Popcorn with Pecans is a fun, crunchy snack with a little kick and a lot of chocolate. This easy no-bake snack tastes like a bite-sized version of bourbon pecan pie!
Originally published Dec 29, 2013
Bourbon Chocolate Popcorn with Pecans
I may be a Jersey girl, but for many years I have had family living in Kentucky. I grew up knowing nothing about horse racing, yet suddenly every year we started talking about and watching the Kentucky Derby. I became obsessed with Kentucky Hot Brown sandwiches. And, after a visit one year for Thanksgiving that included a tour at a distillery, I was inspired to add a little bourbon to some recipes.
Like this chocolate-covered popcorn with a little boozy infusion, plus some pecans for another touch of the South. In order to add enough bourbon to really make the flavor stand out, it doesn’t end up being the crunchiest popcorn you’ve ever eaten. But that doesn’t matter because it is delicious! It disappears in no time in our house.
It makes a fun movie night treat for the adults, and a great gift during the holidays. But even better would be to serve art a Derby Day Party!
- Kentucky Hot Brown Dip for dipping bread, crackers, or veggies.
- Kentucky Hot Brown Grilled Cheese you can cut into small squares or triangles to add to a snack platter.
- Frozen Mint Julep, makes that classic cocktail frosty and fabulous.
- Or try any of these Kentucky Derby Recipes.
- Popped popcorn: Pop your own in the microwave or air popper without any oil or butter, or if you use microwave popcorn, use the plainest kind you can find, usually labeled “Natural”.
- Chopped pecans: If you like, you can lightly toast these in a skillet or in the oven.
- Chocolate: I recommend dark or semisweet melting chocolate discs or wafers or almond bark.
- Bourbon: You can use your favorite, but there is no need to use an expensive brand. I have been using Henry McKenna lately because it is a great value. It is very good for the affordable price point.
What kind of chocolate is best for making chocolate popcorn?
One thing about making chocolate-covered popcorn, especially this boozy popcorn – use melting chocolate, NOT chocolate chips. Chocolate chips are not tempered, and therefore do not melt as smooth. When you add a liquid, like the bourbon, in this case, it will cause the chocolate to seize and not coat the popcorn as evenly.
How to Make Chocolate-Covered Popcorn
- Prepare the popcorn: After popping the popcorn add it to a large bowl with the pecans
- Melt the chocolate: Combine the chocolate and bourbon, and melt slowly over a double boiler, stirring until smooth.
- Coat the popcorn and cool: Pour the melted chocolate over the popcorn and pecans and gently toss until it is evenly and thoroughly coated. Spread the popcorn onto a lined sheet pan and cool to room temperature.
Be sure to melt the chocolate with the bourbon already in the bowl. If you add it to the melted chocolate, it will cause it to seize. That is why, in this case, I do not recommend melting the chocolate in the microwave.
Storing chocolate popcorn
Make sure it is cooled completely to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container or plastic storage bag. While any leftover warmth will cause moisture to collect inside the container, making your popcorn lose its crunch factor, it is especially true in this case because you need to add enough bourbon to make the flavor shine through, so there is some extra moisture.
It will last for a few days if cooled and stored properly. It will certainly continue to taste amazing, but it won’t be as crunchy.
Things you’ll need
- Make sure you use chocolate melting wafers for the best results.
- I use these heat-proof spatulas all the time. They are great for stirring melted chocolate.
- You’ll want to spread the popcorn in a nice, even layer on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat.
Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Popcorn
- 8 cups popped popcorn (see Note)
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 12 oz. dark or semisweet melting chocolate discs or wafers or almond bark
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- Place the popcorn in a large bowl and pour the pecans over the top. Don’t mix or toss because then the pecans will just go to the bottom of the bowl.
- Add the chocolate and bourbon to a bowl or top portion of a double boiler and set over a pot of simmering water on low heat, and gently stir and melt the chocolate. I do not recommend melting the chocolate in the microwave because the liquid may make it more likely to seize and solidify.
- Pour the melted chocolate over the popcorn and pecans and gently toss until it is evenly and thoroughly coated.
- Spread the popcorn onto a silicone baking mat or wax paper lined baking sheet and allow to cool to room temperature and firm up.
- Once completely cooled, store in an airtight container.
I have got to make this for my chocaholic hubbie! But I’ll substitute his fav chocolate liquor!
Oooh, good idea!
I really need to get more creative with my popcorn – this looks amazing
Yes, I want to try more flavored popcorn too!
I love popcorn but I have never been a big chocolate popcorn lover. But your version with bourbon and pecans sound good enough that I want to give chocolate popcorn a chance again.
This looks yummy! Can you make it without the bourbon? We are an alcohol free household (even for cooking), so I can’t make it exactally as the recipe states. Thanks so much for sharing this and HAPPY NEW YEAR! HUGS!
Sure, you could make it as chocolate pecan popcorn. It won’t have the same flavor, but would still be delicious. Perhaps there is some sort of bourbon extract, similar to rum extract, that would give the flavor.
Oh gosh, this popcorn looks too perfect, and even better than the caramel corn we usually eat. Just discovered your blog from pinterest, and looking forward to following your posts!
Thanks for stopping by! Caramel is yummy, but chocolate makes everything better! 🙂
This looks delicious! What a great flavor combination!
My mom would go APE over this
Haha, make it for her!!
Wow, what an amazing popcorn! I’m sitting here eating moose munch and well, it’s all of a sudden fallen flat 🙁
Oh, Moose Munch is yummy too!
What a fun treat – indulgent popcorn; yes please 🙂
Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy 2014.
Thanks Bea, and Happy New Year to you and yours!
It sounds like 2013 was a wonderful year for you and your family! I’ve been on a gourmet popcorn kick lately because of how easy it is to make and I’ll be adding this one to my list!
Yes, I want to try more popcorn recipes, especially some healthier ones too!
This looks and sounds incredible! I’ve never heard of bourbon popcorn before but it certainly sounds like a great party food! Happy New Year and good luck on your quest to get back to healthier recipes in 2014. Me too 🙂
What a great snack! Perfect for a party!
What an exciting and busy year you’ve had! That was a lovely reflection and a fantastic looking recipe to go with it. I have yet to explore the world of homemade popcorn, but this sure does make me want to dive in!
Thanks so much and happy new year!
omg, this looks sooooo good! yum! Cheers to 2014!
Happy New Year, Alice!
Yes, please! Your popcorn looks and sounds amazing! Happy New Years Brianne!
Thanks Martin! Happy New Year!
Wow, Brianne a definite adult snack! Happy New Year!
I do lots of kid-friendly things, so sometimes it is fun to make something for the big people.
Who needs crunch when you can have bourbon?! What a fun snack for a New Year’s party! Cheers to 2014!
Exactly! Happy New Year!
What a great year for you…I hope 2014 is just as good! This popcorn sounds delicious, and to tell you the truth…I like softer popcorn anyway! I wouldn’t mind it not being so cruncy…esp if the reason is bourbon! Thanks for sharing such amazing recipes this year – you have become one of my favorite bloggers to follow, and have been very inspirational. Have a happy and healthy New Year, Brianne!
Aww, thanks so much Shaina! You are so sweet! Wishing you all the best in 2014!
What a big year you had! Wishing you continued success in 2014!
Thanks Dorothy! Happy New Year!
Oh my goodness gracious! This popcorn looks AMAZEBALLS! (Get it? Popcorn balls? ahem.)
Happy New Year!
Haha, thanks Conni! Happy New Year!
I loved following your journey with those two little cuties in 2013 and look forward to your posts in 2014! I need this bourbon pecan chocolate popcorn in my life.
Thanks for your continued support and inspiration!
I hope the trend of increased success for your wonderful blog continues in 2014 and you will have much success with it and your other goals too. Happy New Year!
Thanks Renee! The support of this group helps so much! Happy New Year!
One of my NY’s resolutions needs to be to make more popcorn! Your chocolate version looks divine! I cannot imagine blogging with two young children! You rock, Brianne!!! Happy New Year!
Thanks Liz! Usually in the kids/hubby/blog/house equation, poor hubby loses out, but he knows what I am working towards. And popcorn is a whole grain, so even for healthy eating resolutions, it works 😉 Happy New Year!