Saturday, October 22, 2011

Honey-n-Halloween Popcorn Treats!

Here's a bevy of honey popcorn snacks--some sweeter than others!

HONEYED POPCORN (with variations!)
Of the three recipes in this post, this one is the least sweet, has the fewest calories, and is easiest to make.  It's a little like kettle corn--just a kiss of sweet saltiness, which makes it a great snack.  The finished product can be a bit sticky, so it's wise to serve this with lots of napkins (or even individual bowls for each nosher).  If this is the only snack you're serving, this recipe makes enough for about two people.  If you're serving other snacks, this amount should satisfy four eaters. The recipe is easily doubled.

8 cups air-popped pop corn, freshly popped (about 1/2 cup unpopped)
2 tablespoons butter
2-3 tablespoons honey (amber summer honey works well here)
kosher salt for sprinkling on top

Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the honey, mixing well.  As soon as the popcorn finishes popping, pour on the butter/honey mixture and toss well.  Sprinkle on kosher salt to taste.  Serve immediately!


  • To emphasize the sweetness, add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract when you melt the butter.
  • For a more savory dish, sprinkle on 1/4 teaspoon cumin or paprika when you add the salt.
  • Add 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese when you add the salt.
  • Try toasting 1-2 tablespoons sesame seeds and sprinkling them on when you add the salt.

This recipe requires a candy thermometer; you want the honey/molasses mixture to reach the "hard crack" stage so that will harden and keep the popcorn ball together.
8 cups freshly popped popcorn (about 1/2 cup unpopped)
1/2 cup amber summer honey
1/2 cup molasses)
1 1/2 cups butter (three sticks)
Salt to taste
Place the honey and molasses in a pan and cook until it reaches 270 degrees.  Stir in the butter and stir until it melts entirely.  Add a pinch of salt.  Slowly pour the syrup over the popcorn, stirring with a wooden spoon and being sure that all of the popcorn is coated.  Grease your hands and lightly shape the popcorn into balls and set on wax paper to harden.  Should make about 16 popcorn balls, depending on how large you make them.  

I picked this recipe up at the Western Pennsylvania Herb Society's recent bees and blooms event, held at the Fern Hollow Nature Center in Sewickley.  It's very sweet (and very good!)--much like caramel corn.

3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup honey (fall honey is particularly good with this)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 quarts popped popcorn
1 1/2 cups roasted peanuts
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Melt the butter and stir in the honey, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Put popcorn and peanuts in a large bowl or pan.  Pour syrup over all and toss to mix well. Turn out on to two greased 15 x 10 baking pans (line them with aluminum foil for easier clean up).  Bake about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Cool completely and then break into bite-sized pieces.

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