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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sweet and Salty Holiday Popcorn {Bunny Bait}…and a few thoughts on parenthood

I’m an artist and designer, so I like things to look good. Sadly, though, I am also lazy lazy LAZY. Rarely do I pull out all the stops for cute holiday crafts and treats and such. Once in a while, though, I stumble on an idea that is super cute but also very simple and I actually do get a little holiday pizazz goin’ on.

Bunny Bait is one of those very ideas! My friend Erin wrote about it on Today’s Mama. She got the idea from Sing For Your Supper, who got the idea from Bake at 350, who got the idea from Nest of Posies. Bottom line? Bunny Bait gets around, people.

Here’s the thing. Bunny Bait is perfectly cute for Easter and I love the name. But the beauty of this recipe is it is so easily adaptable to any holiday or event. Just pick up the M&Ms du jour and change up the candy melt color and you have deliciously sweet and salty popcorn goodness for any holiday. In fact, this is what we will be making for our holiday gifts this December. It’s easy to throw together a large batch, the popcorn is super cute, it tastes awesome and you can dress it up with matchy-matchy baggies and bows. Done and done.

Erin mentioned that Bunny Bait may be slightly addictive. She’s right, and here’s why. You inevitable take a bite that has popcorn and an M&M. And it’s delicious, but then you realize that you didn’t get a pretzel in that bite, so you dig back in and get a pretzel-ful bite, only to discover it was missing the popcorn. And the cycle continues until you have eaten the whole bowl. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Probably best to make this with purpose and get it bagged up and given away ASAP.

Also, lest you look at these pictures and think we are a perfect family with a patient mother who cooks with her kids while birds flit about our heads and sing pretty songs…Anna did have a lot of fun making this with me and it was really sweet and cute. But, I must admit, towards the end a few things got me frustrated (that had nothing to do with the recipe or with Anna but everything to do with me and my lack of sleep and patience) and I ended up yelling at her for something stupid and felt terrible as she ran away crying with her blankie. I realized my mistake immediately and was overcome with regret and sadness. I hate these moments as a mom. I ran to my sweet girl and gave her a good, long hug. She quickly forgave (kids are amazing that way) and we finished our Bunny Bait adventures with smiles. But, looking at these photos of the Bunny Bait, I still have a twinge of guilt. But I also have a resolve to do better next time. This parenting gig certainly is salty and sweet, but I suppose the salty just helps me truly appreciate and seek after the sweet.

Sweet and Salty Holiday Popcorn {Bunny Bait}
From all over the place, original idea from Nest of Posies
  • ½ cup unpopped popcorn (yields about 24 cups)
  • 8 ounces candy melts (you can just use white and let the M&Ms and/or sprinkles add the color, but feel free to use a colored candy melt, too!)
  • 1½ cups rod pretzels, broken into smaller pieces
  • 1 12-oz package M&Ms (holiday themed)
  • Sprinkles to match your color theme (optional)
  1. Pop your popcorn (I used my Whirley Pop). Pour into a giant bowl. Add pretzels and M&Ms, but don’t stir anything yet. Melt the candy melts as per package instructions, then drizzle over the popcorn mixture. Toss and toss and toss to coat. (It takes a lot of tossing!) The pretzels and M&Ms will want to sink to the bottom, so when you serve it or put in bags for gifts, be sure to toss again and then scoop. Also, if you do plan to bag it for gifts, let it sit out for a bit to allow the candy melts to temper.
  2. For the bunny bait, I used pink and green candy melts. I poured the green first, tossed it, then let it sit for a bit before drizzling the pink, so that they didn’t mix together. The result was cute, but next time I’m just going to use one color – it’s just as cute and less effort.



  1. 1

    Really cute!!!

  2. 2

    I am glad I am not the only one who has those moments. And as parents we are our worst critic. I find I am still feeling bad while my son has forgotten the whole incident. I have to try bunny bait with white chocolate m&ms, thank you!

    • Jane Maynard

      it’s always so reassuring to know we’re not alone!! and you’re right, anna was fine so fast and when she was with me when I was writing this post, she was all excited and giving me high fives.

      the white chocolate m&ms would be yummy!

  3. yum! my mom used to make a version of this with chex instead of popcorn.

  4. 4

    Great recipe idea. I can’t wait to try it and the name just couldn’t be cuter!
    Happy Easter!

  5. I made this birthday cake popcorn:
    I like the idea of the pretzels in yours and the cake mix in the other, so I might combine the two recipes for one super yummy treat!

  6. You are definitely not alone! I have always wanted to be the patient mom who bakes and cooks with her children along side her being perfect little sous chefs but alas this has never been the case. It doesn’t matter how prepared I think I am when starting a cooking project I inevitably end up frustrated and one of my little ones ends up upset. I suppose one day we will all be able to be in the kitchen together and work along side one another peacefully… one day. =)

    • Jane Maynard

      it is amazing to me that no matter how much prep we do, it STILL ends up being difficult most times. I suppose we just keep trying, right? but yes, so nice to know we are not alone!

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