Halloween Popcorn Balls

Popcorn + Marshmallows + Candy Corn + M&M’s = Yuuummm…
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Who ever knew this equation would work so perfectly? The salty taste of popcorn perfectly contrasts with crunchy M&M’s and chewy, sweet candy corn in this recipe. And before I go any further, I must tell you that I am not a candy corn person. Not.at.all. But I was at someone’s home recently and they had several varieties of candy corn that I had never seen, and after tasting one that was offered, I had to change my mind. I decided that I’m not an original candy corn person, but I am a flavored candy corn person.

After this revelation, and while playing with ideas of how to use the candy corn (because of course I needed an excuse to procure some for myself), I remembered a popcorn/M&M candy recipe I had used once and that was a really big hit with the people I had shared it with. I decided to add candy corn to this same recipe, and voila! Tasty success. Since it is October, with Halloween right around the corner, this is a perfect group snack or classroom snack.* I had a lot of candy corn left over, so they will be used to fill treat bags for my students at the end of this month.

Recipe Notes: I used fall-colored M&M’s (I couldn’t find specific Halloween M&M’s, but these looked pretty cute anyway) and two different flavors of candy corn. One was called Indian Candy Corn and the other was Caramel. I bought both from my local Central Market. I plan on going back to get more of the Blackberry Cobbler flavor, which was a fun purple/blue color and actually tasted pretty good.

This recipe is adapted from Paula Deen’s Holiday M&M’s Popcorn Balls

Fall Popcorn Balls

 1 (10 oz) package miniature marshmallows

4 tablespoons butter

1 (3 1/3) package microwave kettle corn

1 cup fall themed M&M’s

1 cup candy corn

Pop the kettle corn in microwave as directed on package. Remove the unpopped kernels. Put into a large bowl.

Microwave in medium-sized, microwave-safe bowl (or melt on stove in a saucepan) the marshmallows and butter, stirring until smooth. If microwaving, pause every 30 seconds to stir. If using the stove top, melt on low heat, stirring constantly so marshmallows don’t stick and burn. I find it helpful to get the butter halfway melted first in order to coat the bottom of the pan and prevent the marshmallows sticking.

Pour over popcorn in bowl while gently turning popcorn with a large spatula or spoon in order to evenly coat. Cool 5 minutes, then add M&M’s and candy corn. I like to add a little at a time, turning the popcorn mixture gently to evenly distribute the candy. Let it sit another 5 minutes.

Dip hands in ice water and form mixture into ten balls. Store the popcorn balls in separate plastic bags at room temperature.

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I used these adorable black and white polka dot mini take-out boxes from Hobby Lobby. Using a coupon to purchase, they were less than $3 for 8 boxes! So cute and the perfect size for one popcorn ball each. I suggest wrapping with clear plastic wrap if taking them to a classroom in order to protect them and also to help the kids be able to safely put into a backpack if they are unable to consume right away.

I also bought a package of small-sized, cute chalkboard paper treat bags that I plan on filling with the remaining candy corn for my students at Halloween. I love the idea of chalking cute, non-scary messages (I’m not into scary Halloween) onto the treat bags. Since I’m on a budget, I also appreciate that I can use coupons at Hobby Lobby, or at least am usually able to catch a sale there. They have some truly adorable, wallet-friendly products. Confession: I like walking around the store and playing with ideas as I go through the seasonal products.

The ideas for a sweet, fun, and cute Halloween are endless… Happy fall baking and crafting!

Until next time, dear friends… xo

Warning: these popcorn balls are highly addicting. I suggest making them and sharing immediately, before you are tempted to consume it all, right from the bowl (not that I personally would know about this temptation…).

*remember to check allergies before serving. This recipe is peanut-free, but I’ve had students with corn allergies, so it’s best to check.

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