Tricks and Comfort Treats
I have been on a search to find the best of the best for Fall and Halloween Foods and decor and have an excellent time playing both online, out in the Markets and talking to friends. One of the conversations turned to what we remember having in our candy bags as a child and which treats we ate first and which had to hang on until there was nothing “good” left to eat. As we were walking down the misty road of Halloweens past, we remembered trick or treating through the neighborhoods in the chilly night air trying to show off our fabulous costumes under our hampering winter coats. We journeyed the streets in huge groups and rang the doorbells in sweet anticipation of grown ups handing out the tastiest treats to put in our waiting bags.
Some neighbors were a bit more frugal than others and would drop one stick of gum in the waiting bag, another would always drop in an apple ~ even the apple would get eaten, last of course but eaten all the same. Of course we always had a favorite house to visit. One of my grandmothers neighbors used to make the sweetest, messiest concoction, wrap it cellophane and tie it up with a colored pipe cleaner for festive flair. Yes, I am talking popcorn balls. I had not thought of this tasty treat in ages and it appears some of you have not either. When I posted this sticky recipe on my Facebook page the response was amazing. I went in search of a few other recipes and these are what I found. I know for a fact that my sweet three have not even seen one before, yes my bad, so they are in for a fun and tasty adventure since I could use more hands in the kitchen that just my two.
Some of the treats we received back then are not even remotely considered any longer. Today out of distrust of our fellow man and unfortunately out of necessity, we go through the candy bags and plastic pumpkins with a fine tooth comb looking for any wrapper that appears to have opened or tampered with. Handmade Halloween treats to pass out to neighboring children are barely even thought of in today’s climate. While yes, I have collected more for you than just popcorn balls, today this is my focus.
- 4 tbsp unsalted, plus a bit more for buttering hands
- 1 10 ounce bag miniature marshmallows
- 1/4 c light brown sugar, packed firmly
- 3 quarts popped popped popcorn
Melt butter over low heat, add marshmallows and brown sugar. You can add a bit of food coloring for a festive flair. Stir until melted and smooth then remove from heat. Pour popcorn into pan with melted mixture and mix well. Butter your hands and shape into balls about three inches in diameter. Set out on wax or parchment paper to dry for about 10 minutes.
10 cups popped popcorn
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 4 ounces white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup butter, plus a bit more for buttering hands
- 4 cups miniature marshmallows
- Combine popcorn, pecans and chocolate in a large bowl.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium low heat. Add marshmallows, stirring constantly until marshmallows melt and mixture is smooth.
- Pour over the popcorn mixture in your bowl and toss until well coated.
- Lightly butter hands and shape mixture into 2-1/2 inch balls.
- Cool completely on lightly greased parchment.
- Wrap each cooled ball in cellophane .
I am also including a favorite popcorn treat of mine to munch on that is not in ball form and is wickedly delicious.
White Chocolate Popcorn
- 8 cups air-popped popcorn
- 2 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Place popcorn in a large bowl. In a microwave, melt white chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Pour over popcorn mixture and toss to coat. Add the cranberries, nuts and salt.
- Spread onto waxed paper. Cool until set. Store in an airtight container.