30 October 2009

Ghoulish Goodies


Sharon Bowers has a bit of Roald Dahl in her. The food gross, disgusting and surprisingly tasty. Lots of dismembered parts to construct, bones and eyes, wings and things. The eyes are a great riff on old-fashioned buckeyes; abandon the M & M pupils and make them anytime! My Dad loved making popcorn balls for Halloween.

Here's a colorful and creepy way to make them especially horrible for Halloween.

Orange Popcorn Balls

10-12 cups popcorn (from 1/2 cup kernels)
1 cup dry-roasted salted peanuts
1/2 cup gummy worms or bugs, optional
3 tablespoons butter, plus more for buttering your hands
1 (10-ounce) package marshmallows
red and yellow liquid food coloring or orange paste coloring

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Combine the popcorn with the peanuts, gummy worms, if using, in a large glass, ceramic, or stainless steel bowl (plastic may stain); set aside.

2. Melt the butter and marshmallows in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and add 5 drops of each red and yellow liquid coloring or a dab of paste coloring to achieve your desired shade of orange. You can always add more if the marshmallows is not orange enough.

3. pour the marshmallow cream over the popcorn and mix thoroughly. Working quickly, lightly butter you hands and form balls about 4 inches in diameter. Set the popcorn balls on the baking sheet; allow to cool and firm. Cooled popcorn balls can be wrapped in plastic wrap or waxed paper and tied with black or orange ribbons. The balls are best eaten the day they are made.

For the adult in you, after mixing the marshmallow and popcorn, just drop it in bite-sized bits on the tray. After it cools and dries a bit, dump it in a big bowl. After all, Halloween is on Saturday and this makes a ghoulish treat for those of you planning to watch football. For added fun, throw that hand full of gummy worms into the bowl with the orange popcorn bites.

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