Photo: Thomas J. Story

Homemade will always beat the store-bought stuff. 

Antara Sinha
December 20, 2017

Looking for a big-batch, easy-to-share gift for everyone on your list? Upgrade from the traditional store-bought holiday popcorn tin with your own version, fully customizable to your taste, that lets you take all the credit. Making your own means you’re not constrained to the traditional butter, caramel, and cheese triad that’s most common in the packaged tins. Instead, seasonal flavors like pumpkin and maple, and unique seasonings like seaweed make for memorable and infinitely tastier presents. Here are some of our favorite popcorn recipes worth packaging up sharing this holiday season.
 
Garlic Parmesan Popcorn


Cheese and garlic is always a winning combination—think breadsticks or cheesy rolls. You’ll want to wait to add the parsley immediately before serving (or leave it out if you’re packaging it) to prevent the herb’s moisture from making the popcorn go soggy.
 
Pumpkin Maple Popcorn

Sara Tane


Pumpkin and maple are the ultimate sweater-weather flavors, making this sweet snack perfect for holiday gifting. The sauce forms a candy-like crust and looks beautifully glossy.
 
Smoked Paprika Popcorn

Photo: Thomas J. Story


Lemon zest adds a citrusy zing that sets these apart from any pre-packaged popcorn you’d find on the shelves, while paprika brings and earthiness, and its vivid color.
 
Savory Pixy Stix Popcorn

Savory Pixy Stix Popcorn Image


Pixy Stix are the surprise ingredient here, but the candy powder contributes a subtle, sweetness that helps cut the heat of the chili powder.


 
Coconut-Pecan Caramel Popcorn

Photographer: Gina DeSimone; Prop Stylist: Kashara Johnson; Food Stylist: Briana Riddock


Pecans and caramel give this popcorn a flavor reminiscent of a praline—with a tropical twist. And caramel made from scratch takes this popcorn next-level, putting it in a league far above sticky store-bought versions.
 
Spicy Seaweed Popcorn Seasoning


You’ll never crave a plain salty-crispy snack again after munching on this toasty popcorn, making it the perfect unique gift for food fanatics during the holidays. Nori sheets are what give it that crave-able flavor. 
 
BBQ-Ranch Popcorn


Using packaged Ranch dressing mix means this popcorn is a breeze to whip up, making it effortless to make a big batch for sharing. Brown sugar and paprika create this popcorn’s signature barbecue smoky-sweetness.
 
Sticky Seaside Kettle Corn

Photo: Greg Dupree; Styling: Rachel Burrow and Claire Spollen


If you’re looking to keep it classic, a simple kettle corn is the way to go—a basic sweet-savory base means that it works well as a safe, universal gift to that you can give to anyone on your list.
 
Rosemary Popcorn

Photo: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Claire Spollen


Rosemary makes this snack feel extra classy—a special indulgence that is nothing like the stale flavors from packaged tins.

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