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Popcorn Witch

 Popcorn Witch
The materials needed to make this candy-studded witch are on the simple side—just ingredients for popcorn balls, plus candies, pretzels, colored cellophane and a few other available supplies. Then it's merely a matter of forming your centerpiece…and waiting for grins to start popping up on October 31. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
1 ServingsPrep: 45 min. + cooling

Ingredients

  • Materials needed:
  • 5 quarts popped popcorn
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup corn syrup
  • Green liquid food coloring
  • 11 pieces of candy corn
  • 2 pretzel sticks
  • 2 pieces of purple cellophane or plastic wrap—one 15 x 12 inches and one 6-inch square
  • 2 pieces of red shoestring licorice—one 24 inches and one 12 inches
  • One 10-inch wooden skewer
  • 7 pieces black rope licorice—8 inches each
  • 1 ice cream sugar cone
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla frosting
  • 2 brown M&M's
  • 1 pretzel rod
  • 1/4 cup potato sticks
  • 1/2 cup chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs

Directions

  • Directions: Place popcorn in a large roasting pan and keep warm in a
  • 200° oven.

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Popcorn Witch (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • In a heavy saucepan, combine sugars,
  • water and corn syrup. Cook and stir over medium heat until a candy
  • thermometer reads 235° (soft-ball stage). Remove from
  • the heat and add food coloring. Pour over popcorn and stir to coat
  • evenly. Cool for 10 minutes.
  • FORMING FEET: With hands dipped in cold water, shape 2 cups of
  • popcorn into a 6-inch heart about 1/2 inch thick on a covered
  • corn around rounded edges of heart (see photo 1 below left).
  • FORMING BODY: Firmly shape 5 cups of popcorn into a 6- x 3-inch
  • cylinder. Center over feet.
  • For arms, firmly cover half of each pretzel stick with 1/2 cup of
  • popcorn. Insert uncovered ends of pretzel sticks into body (see
  • photo 2 below).
  • For dress, center the 15- x 12-inch cellophane piece over body.
  • Gather at waist and tie with the 24-inch piece of red licorice (see
  • photo 3 below).
  • FORMING HEAD: Firmly shape 2 cups of popcorn into a 3-1/2-inch ball.
  • Add a few more pieces to form a pointed chin. Attach head by
  • carefully inserting skewer through top of head into body and base
  • (see photo 4 above right). If there is any popcorn remaining, shape
  • into 1-1/2-inch balls; cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
  • For hair, cut black licorice into 1/8-inch strips to within 1/2 inch
  • of one end. Attach to head with toothpicks.
  • With a sharp serrated knife, carefully cut sugar cone 3 inches from
  • pointed end. Cover
  • 3-inch pointed end of cone with the cellophane square. Tie the
  • 12-inch piece of red licorice around cone bottom to secure; place
  • hat on head. With frosting, attach M&M’s for eyes and the remaining
  • piece of candy corn for nose. Spread frosting on 1-1/2 inches of one
  • end of pretzel rod. Attach potato sticks (see photo 5 below). Lean
  • broom against witch as shown in photo at far left. Sprinkle crumbs
  • on covered board for dirt. Arrange reserved popcorn balls around
  • witch. Yield: Yield: 14-16 servings (1 witch and 4-6 popcorn balls).
Crafter Thoughts: You might also try fashioning smaller figures for individual trick-or-treat party favors. This craft can be adapted to suit other occasions. First, dye the popcorn any color you like. Second, create whatever shape you like—bunny,

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Popcorn Witch (continued)

Editor's Note: reindeer, turkey, etc.—following the basic instructions here. Finished size: The witch is 11 inches tall x 6 inches wide.