Watching scary movies and dressing up as ghouls and goblins is always great fun, but time spent in the kitchen with the kids as you whip up spooky-themed treats together makes Halloween even better. Before heading out to trick-or-treat, gather your minions for some family-friendly fun crafting some haunting yet tasty treats featuring a go-to component for treats of all types: popcorn.
Beloved for its seed-to-snack simplicity, popcorn is a non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free snack that’s naturally low in fat and calories. Add in its irresistible smell, taste and versatility, and it’s easy to see why it will pair so well with your spooky celebrations.
Find more Halloween treats at Popcorn.org. [OFFSET]
SPOOKY POPCORN SPIDER WEB
Yield: 1 spider web
· 1/4 cup butter
· 8 cups mini marshmallows, divided
· 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
· 9 cups popped popcorn, divided
· 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided
· Black string licorice
· Candy eyes
· Line round pizza pan with parchment paper and set aside. In large saucepan over low heat, melt butter; stir in 5 cups marshmallows, stirring constantly, 3-4 minutes or until completely melted. Stir in vanilla and remove from heat.
· Stir 8 cups popcorn into marshmallow mixture until coated. Spread onto prepared pizza pan in irregular round shape, about 1-inch thick, to resemble spider web. Refrigerate about 15 minutes or until firm.
· In microwave, melt remaining marshmallows 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 chocolate chips; cool slightly. In large bowl of remaining popcorn, pour chocolate over popcorn, folding gently to coat. Spread mixture on waxed paper-lined baking sheet, separating into eight small clusters, and affix two candy eyes to each popcorn cluster. Refrigerate 10-15 minutes or until set.
· Melt remaining chocolate chips and cut licorice into 1-inch lengths.
· Using small spoon, dab circles of melted chocolate onto spider web; affix chocolate-coated popcorn onto chocolate circles and affix licorice lengths to chocolate popcorn clusters to resemble spider legs.
· Refrigerate 15 minutes or until set. To serve, cut into smaller pieces.
WITCHY POPCORN BALLS
Yield: 8 popcorn balls
· 16 chocolate wafer cookies
· Nonstick cooking spray
· 3 quarts popped popcorn
· 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
· 3 cups miniature marshmallows
· 3 tablespoons (1/2 of 3-ounce box) lime gelatin dessert mix
· Green food coloring, optional
· 3/4 cup chocolate chips
· Licorice strings
· 8 chocolate ice cream cones
· Orange sugar sprinkles, placed in small dish
· Jelly beans
· Candy corn
· Spread sheet of waxed or parchment paper over work surface and place wafer cookies on top; spray large mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray and place popcorn inside.
· In medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter then stir in marshmallows and gelatin powder until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth; adjust color with 1-2 drops green food coloring, if desired, then pour mixture over popcorn and mix until coated.
· Spray hands with nonstick cooking spray and press firmly to form into eight balls; place balls on eight wafer cookies and press candy decorations into popcorn balls to form eyes, nose and mouth.
· In small microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate chips, covered, 10 seconds; stir to aid melting and repeat as needed until chocolate is melted and smooth.
· Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon melted chocolate on top of each popcorn ball. Press licorice strings into chocolate to form hair.
· Dip cone edges into melted chocolate then orange sugar sprinkles and place on remaining wafer cookies to form witches’ hats; place hats on popcorn balls and allow chocolate to set about 45 minutes before serving.
· Serve or seal individually in plastic wrap.
GREEN HALLOWEEN ZOMBIES
Yield: about 7 pieces
· 2 1/2 quarts popped popcorn
· 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
· 3 cups mini marshmallows
· 4 tablespoons lime gelatin powder
· Red gum balls
· Black mini jelly beans
· Candy corn
· Flat green candy strips or fruit leather
· Green sugar sprinkles
· Place popcorn in large bowl; set aside.
· In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, then stir in marshmallows until melted; stir in gelatin powder until mixture is evenly colored.
· Pour melted mixture over popcorn and stir until evenly coated; with buttered hands, shape popcorn into seven ovals.
· Flatten each oval slightly and squeeze at one end to form skull shape; place each on parchment-lined baking sheet.
· To decorate, press two gumballs into each skull to form eyes, candy corn to form teeth, a black jelly bean to form a nose and use scissors to trim candy strips and press into top for hair; sprinkle with sugar sprinkles.
· Allow zombies to set about 20 minutes before wrapping individually in plastic wrap or serve immediately.
POPCORN CARAMEL APPLES
Yield: 4 apples
· 1 quart freshly popped popcorn
· 1 package (9 1/2 ounces, 35 total) caramels, unwrapped
· 1/4 cup light cream or half-and-half
· 4 lollipop sticks or wooden candy apple sticks
· 4 apples
· 1/2 cup chocolate chips
· Sugar sprinkles
· Decorative ribbon, optional
· Place popcorn in large bowl and set aside; place sheet of waxed paper on work surface.
· In small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat caramels and cream, stirring frequently until caramels are melted and cream is well incorporated.
· Push one stick into apple center, dip into caramel and spoon caramel over apple to coat; repeat with remaining apples
· Place caramel-coated apple in bowl of popcorn and press popcorn onto caramel to cover; place apple on waxed paper to set and repeat with remaining apples.
· In small, resealable plastic bag, microwave chocolate chips 10 seconds, then press chips to aid melting; repeat, heating at 10-second intervals, until chips are completely melted.
· Cut small corner off bag and squeeze chocolate onto each apple, allowing chocolate to drip down sides; sprinkle with sugar sprinkles.
· Tie a bow to each apple stick, if desired. To serve, cut apples into slices.