You can't go wrong with chocolate-covered popcorn—it satisfies a craving for a crunchy snack and dessert all in one. But this gourmet offering usually isn't cheap. Save a few bucks and cook up your own batch; it also makes a lovely hostess or birthday gift.
Pop the Popcorn
Add a thin layer of vegetable oil to a large pot over medium heat. Pour kernels into the pot (1/2 cup of kernels yields approximately 16 cups of popcorn). To make kettle corn, add white or brown sugar to the oil.
Cover the pot with a lid and lift it above the heat. Shake the pot continuously to keep the kernels from burning. After the popping sound slows to between 2- and 3-second intervals, remove the pot from the stove.
Transfer the popcorn into a large bowl and let it cool. Stir the sweetened kettle corn occasionally to break up any clumps.
Melt the Chocolate
Fill a saucepan with 1 inch of water and set it on medium heat. Let the water come to a simmer but do not boil.
Place small chocolate pieces or chips into a dry glass or metal bowl.
Cradle the bowl over the simmering water in the saucepan; stir gently until the chocolate melts about halfway. Remove it from the heat and continue to stir until it melts completely.
Drizzle the Chocolate
Pour the melted chocolate onto the cooled popcorn and use a dry mixing spoon to gently toss the chocolate and popcorn together.
Cut one or several pieces of parchment paper large enough to accommodate the popcorn.
Pour the chocolate-coated popcorn onto the parchment paper, spreading it out in one layer. Set the popcorn aside and let it cool and harden.