trick or treat

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it got spooktastic in manchego’s kitchen this weekend.  we ate a lot of sugar.  we got into the spirit of halloween.

perhaps some of us got a bit too into the spirit.

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this is the danger of hosting the halloween party.  cobwebs and spooky creatures everywhere.

shrunken heads in the cider.

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also, eyeballs.

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and swamp creatures.  adorable swamp creatures.

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have you heard of cake pops?  i hesitate to send you to this site, because, well, bakerella’s look legit.  let’s all just remember mine were made with love, ok?  and with some able assistance, not just from Duncan and Betty, but from one very sexy pumpkin.

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yes, that is a cake pop landscape i crafted out of tin foil.  yes, i do enjoy using my glue gun at halloween.

but, let’s get serious here for a second.  i have some snacks for you that aren’t wearing halloween costumes.  they’re yummy just as is.

both snacks play off of the salty-sweet combo that you know i’m obsessed with.

this snack mix i made with pretzels, malted milk powder and jazzed up for halloween with candy corn and chopped up snickers – peanut butter and regular.  it was insanely, amazingly good.  it was also ridiculously un-photogenic.  so please just trust me.  it is super easy to make.  just be sure you have friends coming over – maybe for a marathon viewing of seven and riggins? – so you don’t put yourself in a food coma.

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this peanut butter caramel popcorn is just as good – and slightly less likely to give you a toothache.

it has that chewy goodness of caramel corn, but the peanut butter softens it and makes it much less likely to stick in your teeth.  plus, it’s just plain addictive.

winning!

Peanut Butter Caramel Popcorn

Adapted from Cooking Light

  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted if you’re feeling fancy
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter – I used chunky and liked it
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp salt

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  If you have one with sides – like a jellyroll pan – that is better cause you’re going to be tossing the corn around.  But I made a batch on a flat sheet and I was careful and it was ok.

Pop your popcorn!  You can do it on the stove with oil, or you can air pop it 1/4 cup at a time in a brown paper lunch bag.  Just put the kernels in the bag, fold it over a few times and then microwave for 2-3 minutes.  Magic!

Toast your almonds if you feel like it.  Toss them with the popcorn in the biggest bowl you’ve got.

On the stove, mix your sugar, corn syrup, butter and 1/2 tsp salt.  Bring to a boil and stir for about 3 minutes.  It’ll get foamy and kind of look like you’re making toffee, but we aren’t getting that fancy here.  Add the peanut butter and vanilla and mix it in.

Here, I gave the super hot caramel mix a minute to cool down because I was afraid it would melt the popcorn.

Then, have your OCD self pour the caramel over the popcorn and toss/stir it so that all the kernels get some coating.

Spread out on your cookie sheet(s).  Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt.  Bake for an hour, and every 15-20 minutes, pull the sheet(s) out and mix up the popcorn so it toasts evenly and doesn’t just turn into a giant slab of caramel popcorn.

Crumble into a bowl, and try not to eat it all in one sitting.

 

One thought on “trick or treat

  1. Mm, the caramel sounds tasty! A lesser chance of toothache is fine as well, especially during Halloween time when there’s just so much candy. To better lower the risk, it’s best to be vigilant in keeping the teeth cleaned.
    Brushing and flossing, as well as moderating the candy intake work wonderfully.

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