Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Thank Them for "Popping" By

Courtesy of Kim Stoegbauer and The TomKat Studio
Photography by Vicki Lynn Photography

Hi Friends,

With so much candy around at Halloween parties, a salty snack will hit the spot. Whip up some homemade kettle-popped corn or one of the popcorn recipes below and place in scallop-edged cups. Embellish with dimensional scrapbooking stickers (found at craft stores) or one of the free printables offered in our October 1st, 2014 post. If you're sending a cup home with your party guests, wrap it in cellophane and tie with ribbon so the popcorn will stay fresh.

3 Salty and Sweet Halloween Snacks

1. Salted Caramel Popcorn Balls
Gather the ghouls to enjoy this tasty update on the seasonal favorite.

Courtesy of Matt Armendariz

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons maple extract or rum (for an adults-only treat)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 cups popped popcorn
  • 6 pieces cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

Combine sugars and corn syrup with 1/3 cup water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until sugars dissolve. Once mixture has reached 240 degrees Farenheit, remove from the heat and stir in butter.

Return to heat and continue cooking until mixture reaches 300 degrees F. Remove from heat and carefully stir in extract, baking soda and salt. (The mixture will bubble aggressively, so stir with caution.)

Place popcorn, bacon and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl and gently fold in caramel mixture until well-coated. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using greased heatproof gloves, take a handful of caramel corn and roll it into a ball. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat to form 12 balls. Let sit at room temperature about 15 minutes before serving. Wrap individual popcorn balls in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container.

2. Apricot Dark Chocolate Trail Mix
Surprise trick-or-treaters or Halloween partygoers with this healthy salty/sweet snack. With dried fruit, toasted nuts and dark chocolate, this treat is actually as good for you as it tastes.

Courtesy of Sarah Copeland

  • 12 ounces high-quality dark chocolate, cut into chunks (about 3 cups)
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup dried apricots, quartered
  • 12 pieces candied ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup lightly toasted pecans or walnuts

Mix the ingredients together. Divide among 6 jars or footed cellophane bags. Seal with a ribbon and a sticker.

Total time: 10 minutes
Yield: about 6 cups (or six 1-cup jars or bags)
Level: Easy

3. Maple-Nut Popcorn
Fill kids' trick-or-treat bags or delight Halloween party guests with this quick-and-easy recipe. Savory, sweet and crunchy, this fall favorite really satisfies with pure maple syrup, mixed nuts and a kick from cayenne pepper.

Courtesy of Kelsey Nixon

  • 10 cups plain popcorn, popped
  • 2 cups mixed nuts, such as pecans, walnuts and almonds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Nonstick spray, for greasing
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup

Combine the popcorn, mixed nuts, salt, paprika and cayenne pepper in a large serving bowl.

Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with nonstick spray.

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour in the maple syrup and continue cooking until the mixture reads 275 degrees F on a candy thermometer, about 15 minutes.

Carefully pour the mixture over the popcorn and nuts. Toss, using a spoon that has been coated in nonstick spray, to coat the popcorn evenly with syrup. Allow the popcorn to cool before serving.

Total time: 35 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Level: Easy

Delight Halloween trick-or-treaters or party guests with these tasty recipes...

Check back for more great Halloween ideas from your friends at Interior Design!

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Live well,

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