Want some fun St. Patrick’s Day Snacks? Our pot-o-gold popcorn bites at the end of the rainbow are easy dessert alternatives for a caramel popcorn recipe and an alternative for the green desserts for St Patrick’s Day snacks!
During a previous St. Patrick’s Day, we made awesome green shamrock snacks.
(They were so good!)
Then, one year, we made Leprechaun Hat Snacks.
(Those were cool, too!)
However, for this St. Patrick’s Day, we decided that we wanted to branch out from the traditional green foods and try to do something different.
(You know, go against the system!)
After reading some St. Patrick’s Day children’s books, we decided to make these yummy Pot-O-Gold Popcorn Bites with it’s very own “rainbow” to lead you to the treats!
(Think: popcorn balls except a much smaller bite-size version.)
I mean, who doesn’t dream of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, right?
We even got creative and made a rainbow out of AirHeads Xtremes Rainbow Berry Sour Candy, which made the perfect rainbow for our pot of gold!
Here’s what we decided to do for our cooking with books…
St. Patrick’s Day Snacks paired with The Leprechaun Who Lost His Rainbow Children’s Book
For this St. Patrick’s Day cooking project, we decided to pair it with The Leprechaun Who Lost His Rainbow by Sean Callahan and illustrated by Nancy Cote.
In the book, Roy G. Biv is a leprechaun who has lost his pot of gold.
Roy asks little Colleen to help him build a rainbow so they can find his pot of gold.
Colleen provides different items for Roy to build his rainbow, saving the day from rain and allowing the St. Patrick’s Day parade to continue!
(The name Roy G Biv is a mnemonic and play on the colors of the rainbow — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. It could be another fun learning tool to use from this book.)
Suggested age range: 6-8 years
Here’s a fun fact to share with the kids while making this St. Patrick’s Day recipe:
Where did the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow come from?
The pot-o-gold at the end of the rainbow came from the Irish mythology and folklore that fairies have great wealth. They needed somewhere to hide their wealth, so they hid it at the end of the rainbow with leprechauns guarding it. It is said that if you find the end of a rainbow, you’ll find the pot of gold. But, first you’ll have to catch the leprechaun who guards it — and leprechauns are said to disappear easily! So, it might be hard to catch them and claim the pot of gold.
Good thing we have this edible pot of gold for you!
ALSO CHECK OUT: 23 St Patrick’s Day Facts, Crafts and Lesson Plan Ideas
On to the recipe!
These St Patrick’s Day treats are perfect St Patrick’s Day snacks for preschoolers or kid friendly St Patrick’s Day snacks for all ages (even adults!).
St. Patrick’s Day Snacks: Pot-O-Gold Popcorn Bites
- 1 Cup uncooked popcorn kernels
- 1 1/4 Cup butter
- 1 1/4 Cup honey
- 3/4 Teaspoon salt
- 2 Teaspoons vanilla
- Cooking spray (for hands and pan)
- AirHeads Xtreme Rainbow Candy Tape (optional, for decorating)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Pop popcorn in an air popper and set aside.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add butter, honey and salt. Stir until butter has melted. Then, increase heat and gently boil mixture for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Pour honey mixture into a large baking pan coated with cooking spray. Gradually add popped popcorn to the mixture in the baking pan, stirring to coat as you go. Repeat the process until all popcorn is added to the baking pan and covered with the honey mixture.
- Bake popcorn for around 25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until all of the popcorn is a golden brown color–taking care not to let it overcook.
- Remove popcorn from oven and let it sit for 5 minutes. Grease hands with cooking spray and work quickly to roll popcorn mixture into small, bite-size popcorn balls. Place each popcorn bite on wax paper to cool.
- After cooling, fill a small bowl with popcorn bites and add rainbow candy tape.
Pouring the honey mixture into the pan first and then adding the popcorn will help reduce the popcorn from “shrinking” (which happens when you pour hot liquid directly over the popcorn all at once).
The popcorn bites can be stored for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.
We used black salsa containers for our “pot” because they looked like a black cauldron, or a pot!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 342Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 349mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 0gSugar: 35gProtein: 0g
Nutrition information is estimated. Changes to the recipe and use of different brands may cause changes to the nutritional information to vary slightly from the ones provided here.