Grab some extra candy corn and whip up a batch of this tasty Halloween Caramel Corn!
Here we are at the end of October. It’s that time of the year when goblins, ghosts and the next-door neighbor dressed up as Tom Brady come out looking for candy. Speaking of Halloween candy, I’ve been snacking on the stuff since late last month…and I know I’m not the only one. C’mon…admit it. You buy Halloween candy early, too. You say you’re just getting ready for the trick-or-treaters, but you’ve been sneaking some chocolate here and some candy corn there. It’s ok. I’ve been doing it, too.
A couple of months ago, my wife and I made a quick weekend trip over to Salem, Mass. Think back to your high school American history class. Remember the Salem Witch Trials? Yup, that same Salem. I found Salem to be a really charming town. Sure, there was a lot of touristy hype and a lot of witch paraphernalia…but there were also a lot of really fun shops.
And there were some pretty awesome graveyards there. (Yes, I just used awesome and graveyard in the same sentence.) But these graveyards were hundreds of years old. Some of the tombstones dated back to the late 1600’s. And there were big twisting trees scattered throughout. I’m sure those graveyards would have been spooky as heck at night…but we were there on a bright day. No ghosts were spotted on this trip.
One of the more unique aspects of Salem were the witchcraft shops. And I’m not talking about shops that sold brooms and black cats. I’m talking real deal Holyfield witchcraft. These shops had ritual tools (think cauldrons and wands), potions (not Love Potion #9) and all sorts of herbs and roots. Interestingly enough, a lot of the herbs and roots are things I use often in the kitchen. There were bay leaves (to win a court case), basil leaves (to help find love), cloves (to stop gossip) and poppy seeds (to have good dreams). I found these stores incredibly fascinating. I just hope none of the witches followed us home.
Halloween Caramel Corn
Ah, but back to Halloween candy. Is there a more iconic Halloween candy than candy corn? I grabbed a bag of candy corn to make this Halloween Caramel Corn, and I mistakenly picked up a mixed pack of candy corn. In addition to the classic candy corn, the bag also included chocolate (!) flavored candy corn as well as candy corn pumpkins. You know what? Don’t mess with a classic! Plain old candy corn is the way to go here, people! I promptly proceeded to pick out all of the classic candy corn from that mixed pack. I never thought I would find myself sorting candy corn…but it happened.
Since there is always candy corn left over after Halloween, I decided to use some of it to make this Halloween Caramel Corn. I basically took my go-to caramel corn recipe and added some candy corn and mini-marshmallows. The result? Amazing! My wife took one bite and declared it was really bad. So bad that I shouldn’t eat any of it. She volunteered to take one for the team and help get rid of the leftovers. I figured out her game, though…and then we spent the weekend eating Halloween Caramel Corn.
What are you dressing up as for Halloween this year?
Candy corn–traditional or chocolate?
Do you love making Halloween treats? Try these other fun recipes!
Halloween Caramel Corn
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1¼ cups brown sugar
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- 2 Tbsp molasses
- ½ tsp salt
- 8 cups popped unflavored popcorn or 2 (3-oz) bags of microwavable popcorn
- 1 cup salted peanuts
- 1 cup candy corn
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, molasses and salt. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Continue to boil, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches 265°F (this will take about 3-4 minutes after it starts to boil).
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 225°F and place the cooked popcorn, peanuts, candy corn and marshmallows in a large, heatproof bowl.
- Once the caramel mixture reaches 265°F, remove it from the heat and pour into the bowl with the popcorn; stir until well coated. (Note: The caramel mixture will be very sticky, so just stir as well as possible at this stage.)
- Transfer popcorn and peanuts to a foil-lined sheet pan and bake at 225°F for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven but do not stir.
- Let mixture cool and then break apart into pieces for serving.