4 cups unsalted popcorn
4 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups water
8 drops green or red food coloring
24 red licorice strings
Thread a large needle with 10″ piece of heavy thread. String popcorn and then tie ends to form a 3″ circle. Make about 2 dozen popcorn circles and set aside.
Turn muffin pans upside down and cover back of each cup with square of aluminum foil. Place pans for shaping wreaths near stove.
In heavy 3-quart saucepan stir together sugar, corn syrup, water, and food coloring. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Now continue cooking, without stirring, until a teaspoon of syrup will separate into hard brittle threads when dropped into cold water (300° on candy thermometer).
Turn heat very low so you can adjust heat if temperature lowers too quickly. (Candy thermometer must not go over 300°.)
Working quickly, dip one popcorn wreath at a time into mixture with fork, coating thoroughly. Place wreath over muffin cup, pressing down slightly to form a ring. Continue until all are coated. (Leftover syrup can be made into suckers.)
When wreaths harden, carefully remove wreath and foil from muffin cups and peel off foil. Break off excess dribbles. Lay wreaths gently on pieces of waxed paper and store in tightly covered container in a cool place until ready to hang on tree. Tie a licorice or ribbon bow at top of each wreath.