While the rainbow salad and fruit bars provided some generally healthy party fair, I made sure to balance those out with a healthy dose sugary goodness. Although I would have loved to do a full-blown, color-coordinated dessert bar, Amy Atlas style, sometimes it’s best to know when to simplify. So rainbow-colored candy in simple abundance is where I decided to go.
By now you know that we didn’t get a picture of anything, including the vibrant and yummy rainbow popcorn. So, the images below are borrowed from the web and credited to the original source. All of the candy was loaded in large, glass vases (PÅLITLIG from Ikea) and apothecary jars that I borrowed from a friend.
Swirl Lollipops from Oriental Trading
These were prettier than they were tasty, but fine for the price.
Sucker Assortment from Oriental Trading
We still have a lot of these. They have vibrant colors and a yummy fruity taste. They were a big hit with the birthday girl.
Machine size gumballs
We placed these in mason jars and then stuffed in handmade paper flowers in an assortment of colors (tutorial coming soon).
This is messy, but surprisingly easy. you need a lot of bowls and willingness to clean up a bunch of colored sugar when you’re done. The popcorn can be made multi-color or single color, depending on your event. Less colors, means less bowls, and less clean up. Here are the steps (adapted from this recipe and inspired by this party on The City Cradle)
- 2/3 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
- 1 medium-size bowl for every color of popcorn you wish to make (I used 5 bowls plus the pot)
- 2 quart heavy bottom saucepan
- 2 cups of granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup of water
- 1/4 cup of butter
- food coloring (I used Wilton’s gel colors)
1. Line a cookie sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil. Butter gently, or coat with non-stick spray.
2. Make popcorn (un-greased is best). You can use an air popper or Alton Brown’s paper bag popcorn method. I use this microwave popcorn popper whenever I am making large quantities of popcorn for caramel corn. Let your popped corn cool and shake the bowl several times to make all unpopped kernels fall to the bottom of the bowl.
3. Place an equal amount of gel coloring in the bottom of each bowl. For rainbow popcorn you will place a dollop of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple each in separate bowls. Set aside.
4. Place your saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add water, butter and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring regularly. The boiling mixture will resemble light corn syrup.
5. Remove the sugar mixture from the heat and distribute evenly amongst the food-coloring bowls. Be careful, as melted sugar is VERY hot.
6. Stir the colored sugar mixture in each bowl, using a separate spoon for each. The colored sugar should be glossy and even.
7. Distribute the popcorn evenly amongst the bowls. Lifting the kernels out by hand and avoiding all unpopped kernels behind.
8. Working quickly, stir the contents of each bowl until the popcorn is well-coated and colorful.
9. Pour the colored popcorn onto a cookie sheet to dry and harden. Leave extra syrup in the bowl, if any.
10. When popcorn is cool and hardened, break up large clumps with your fingers and enjoy. If popcorn remains sticky to the touch after it has cooled, or there are large pools of syrup on the sheet, place the entire sheet into a 250-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes and allow to cool.