Popcorn Owls Recipe
Popcorn Owls Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Popcorn Owls Recipe

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Sweet and chewy popcorn balls are a "hoot" when they're formed into wide-eyed owls perfect for a Halloween party. They take a little bit of assembly but draw a lot of compliments. —Emma Magielda, Amsterdam, New York
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Cook: 10 min.
MAKES:10 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Cook: 10 min.
MAKES: 10 servings


  • 5 quarts air-popped popcorn
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons marshmallow creme
  • Candy corn, orange candy slices, milk chocolate M&M's and salted cashews

Nutritional Facts

1/2 owl: 406 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 9mg cholesterol, 161mg sodium, 93g carbohydrate (67g sugars, 2g fiber), 2g protein.


  1. Place popcorn in a large oven-proof bowl; keep warm in oven at 200° In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, water, corn syrup and salt. Cook over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 250° (hard-ball stage). Remove from the heat; stir in butter and vinegar until butter is melted. Immediately pour over popcorn; toss to coat.
  2. When mixture is cool enough to handle, quickly shape into five 3-1/4-in. balls and five 4-in. balls, dipping hands in cold water to prevent sticking. Flatten bottom of popcorn balls slightly to allow them to sit flat. Place a small ball on top of a large ball, forming the owl's head and body.
  3. Immediately decorate owl, using marshmallow creme to attach candies. Add candy corn for claws. Press the orange slices into sides for wings. Flatten and cut additional orange slices into semicircles for ears and 3/4-in. circular eyes. Press M&M's into orange circles to complete the eyes. Add a cashew for each beak. Yield: 5 owls.
Editor's Note: This recipe was prepared with popcorn popped in oil. we recommend that you test your candy thermometer before each use by bring water to a boil; the thermometer should read 212°. Adjust your recipe temperature up or down based on the results of your test.
Originally published as Popcorn Owls in Taste of Home October/November 2002, p9

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RottieGrandma User ID: 7112906 114289
Reviewed Oct. 27, 2013

"These look adorable and kids would be so impressed. Will try this with granddaughter when she's older! Thanks for sharing."

cozykitchen User ID: 1615751 86190
Reviewed Oct. 16, 2013

"You're right! These owls are very generously portioned, so we increased the servings from five to ten and changed the oil-popped popcorn to air-popped. The recipe still makes 5 owls, but now at 1/2 owl per serving, which is more reasonable. The new nutrition facts are: 406 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 9 mg cholesterol, 161 mg sodium, 93 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein. Best - Peggy Woodward, RD - Food Editor - Taste of Home brands"

mary camille User ID: 239774 36121
Reviewed Sep. 17, 2009

"I have not made these popcorn owls yet, but cannot imagine that each of them weighs in at almost a thousand calories and 19 grams of fat...each! With 3 tblsp of butter as the major fat ingredient, this does not sound plausible, even using oil for the popcorn! I would prefer making them with air popped popcorn in any case, to lower the fat content and make them a healthier alternative."

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