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
Total TimePrep: 45 min. + cooling
MakesYield: 14-16 servings (1 witch and 4-6 popcorn balls)
- 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 wrapone 15 x 12 inches and one 6-inch square
- 2 pieces of red shoestring licoriceone 24 inches and one 12 inches
- One 10-inch wooden skewer
- 7 pieces black rope licorice8 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: Place popcorn in a large roasting pan and keep warm in a 200° oven.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. 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. Lean broom against witch as shown. Sprinkle crumbs on covered board for dirt. Arrange reserved popcorn balls around witch.
Originally published as Popcorn Witch in Crafting Traditions September/October 1998
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