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Popcorn treats are neat for Halloween

 

Last updated 10/31/2018 at 4:17pm



FALLBROOK – While every day is a great day for celebrating popcorn, the month of October is important because of the popcorn harvest, which takes place each fall across the Midwest. That's why October is National Popcorn Poppin' Month.

Popcorn has been officially honored in October since 1999 when then Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman proclaimed October as National Popcorn Poppin’ Month.

With Halloween right around the corner, The Popcorn Board offers the following recipes for some neat popcorn treats.

Spooky Popcorn Spider Web

Yield: 1 Spider Web

Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter

8 cups mini marshmallows, divided

1 tbsp vanilla extract

9 cups popcorn, divided

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided

Black string licorice

Candy eyes

Directions:

Line round pizza pan with parchment paper; set aside.

Melt butter in large saucepan set over low heat; stir in 5 cups marshmallows, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes or until completely melted. Stir in vanilla. Remove from heat. Immediately stir in 8 cups popcorn until coated. Spread onto prepared pizza pan into irregular round shape, about 1-inch thick, to resemble spider web. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes or until firm.

Meanwhile, in microwave, melt remaining marshmallows for about 20 seconds or until melted. Using spatula, string strands of melted marshmallow over popcorn spider web to create cobweb effect.

In heatproof bowl set over saucepan of hot, not boiling, water, melt 3/4 cup of the chocolate chips; let cool slightly. Pour chocolate over remaining popcorn in large bowl, folding gently to coat. Spread mixture on waxed paper–lined baking sheet, separating into eight small clusters. Affix two candy eyes on each popcorn cluster. Refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes or until set.

Melt remaining chocolate chips. Cut licorice into 1-inch lengths. Use small spoon, dab circles of chocolate onto spider web. Affix chocolate-coated popcorn onto chocolate circles. Affix licorice lengths to chocolate popcorn clusters to resemble spider legs.

Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until set. To serve, cut into smaller pieces.

Harvest Munch (Monster Munch)

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients:

8 cups air-popped or stove-top popcorn

4 cups mini pretzel twists

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 tbsp corn syrup

1 cup marshmallows

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups mini chocolate peanut butter cups

1 cup candy corn

Directions:

Toss popcorn with pretzel sticks; spread out on large parchment paper–lined baking sheet; set aside.

In saucepan set over medium heat, combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup; cook, swirling pan, for 3 to 5 minutes or until brown sugar dissolves and mixture is bubbling.

Stir in marshmallows and salt; cook for 30 to 60 seconds or until marshmallows are melted. Pour evenly over popcorn mixture. Sprinkle with mini chocolate peanut butter cups and candy corn. Let cool completely and break into clusters.

Tip: Add edible googly eyes – and call it Monster Munch!

Pumpkin Heads

Yield: 12 Cups

Ingredients:

12 cups popped popcorn

1/4 cup light corn syrup

2 tablespoons butter or margarine melted

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 cup mini marshmallows

1 tablespoon water

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (optional)

Several drops orange food coloring

1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds

Assorted decorations for “eyes” and “mouths”

Directions:

Place popcorn in large bowl; spray lightly with cooking spray.

In large saucepan, combine butter, confectioner sugar, marshmallows and water. Stir until mixture is melted and blended. Add pumpkin pie spice and food coloring, mixing well.

Pour mixture over popcorn, stirring until well coated. Add pumpkin seeds; stir to coat.

Shape 1/4 cup of mixture into oval. Add decorations to look like “pumpkin heads”.

 

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