The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

October 17, 2012

Treats that go pop in the night


— October is National Popcorn Poppin’ Month, the annual celebration of one of America’s oldest and most extraordinary snack foods. Unlike sweet, flint or dent corn, popcorn is the only type of corn that pops, making it truly outstanding in its field.

Native American lore held to angry spirits bursting from within the kernels; today we understand a unique set of traits turn seed to snack.

At the heart of this fascinating little kernel is a healthful whole-grain celebrated for its taste, economy and versatility. Sweet or savory, popcorn can be paired with any number of flavors satisfying a variety of tastes. Popcorn purists may choose a dash of salt while the more adventurous opt for putting creative juices to work and play in the kitchen.

With this year’s hot “lollipop” food trend, what better way to celebrate Popcorn Poppin’ Month than with these Spooky Popcorn Cake Pops from the Popcorn Board.

There’s a veritable cornucopia of fun to be had when the kids join in to create their own creatures and help shape the pops. Add in a bowl of fresh popcorn for munching and watch your goblins gobble it up.

 

Spooky Popcorn Cake Pops

Makes 18 pops

  5 cups popped popcorn

1/2 (11.5 ounce) store-bought pound cake

3/4 cup canned vanilla frosting

  8 ounces candy melts (assorted colors) coating*

1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil (for white candy melts

18 lollipop sticks

 Decorations for cake pops: miniature chocolate chips, blue and red food gel, miniature chewy chocolate candies, food safe markers

Styrofoam block

*May use 8 oz. white candy melts with oil based candy color to achieve desired color (purple for One-eyed Purple Monster; orange for Pumpkin)

Process popped popcorn in food processor until coarsely chopped.

Crumble cake into large bowl. Add popcorn and frosting, stirring with fork until mixture is evenly moistened.

Form mixture evenly into 18 balls. For Ghosts, roll into an elongated triangle creating a distinct head and body.

Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheet; freeze 20 minutes.

Melt candy melts according to package directions. If using white, stir in vegetable oil. Color as desired using candy color.

Remove popcorn cake balls from freezer. Dip tips of lollipop sticks into candy melts; insert no more than halfway into center of balls. Let sit 3 minutes until set.

Dip one ball into melted candy melts to cover completely. Gently tap stick against side of bowl so excess melts drips off. Immediately decorate as desired (candy melts harden quickly).  

Poke sticks into Styrofoam block to dry completely.

To Decorate: Use white candy melts for ghost (pumpkins/orange, one-eyed purple monsters/purple); miniature chocolate chips for eyes and mouth; shape small piece of chewy chocolate candy for pumpkin stem and attach with candy melt; spread melted white candy melts in center of ball to create monster eye, use blue gel for iris, red gel for veins.

For more recipes, visit www.popcorn.org