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Jack-o'-Lantern Popcorn Balls Recipe

Jack-o'-Lantern Popcorn Balls Recipe

Kids will have a ball with this Halloween favorite from trick-or-treats past. The cute candy faces add whimsy to the crispy, crunchy snack. -Melissa Hayes, Hundred, West Virginia
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Cook: 30 min. + cooling YIELD:8 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 quarts popped popcorn
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Yellow and red food coloring
  • 2 to 3 milk chocolate candy bars (1.55 ounces each)
  • 1/4 cup vanilla frosting
  • 8 candy spearmint leaves

Directions

  • 1. Place popcorn in a roasting pan; keep warm in a 200° oven.
  • 2. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, water, corn syrup, vinegar and salt. Cook over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 250° (hard-ball stage).
  • 3. Remove from the heat. Stir in vanilla and food coloring (about 1 teaspoon yellow and 9 drops red) until blended. Immediately pour over popcorn and stir until coated. When mixture is cool enough to handle, quickly shape into 3-1/2-in. balls, dipping hands in cold water to prevent sticking.
  • 4. Cut triangles and rectangles from candy bars for pumpkin eyes, noses and mouths. In a small bowl, combine the frosting with 5 drops of yellow and 3 drops of red food coloring; attach facial features with frosting. Attach a spearmint leaf to the top of each. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 popcorn ball equals 477 calories, 15 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 3 mg cholesterol, 422 mg sodium, 87 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein.