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.