October is National Popcorn Poppin’ Month. To celebrate one of America’s oldest and most delicious snacks, we have found some new and interesting ways to enjoy this treat, as well as some fun facts about popcorn from Popcorn.org.
Corny Popcorn Facts:
- Americans consume some 16 billion quarts of this whole grain, good-for-you treat. That’s 51 quarts per man, woman, and child.
- Compared to most snack foods, popcorn is low in calories. Air-popped popcorn has only 31 calories per cup. Oil-popped is only 55 per cup.
- Popcorn needs between 13.5-14% moisture to pop.
- Most U.S. popcorn is grown in the Midwest, primarily in Indiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky and Missouri.
- The peak period for popcorn sales for home consumption is in the fall.
- Most popcorn comes in two basic shapes when it’s popped: snowflake and mushroom. Snowflake is used in movie theaters and ballparks because it looks and pops bigger. Mushroom is used for candy confections because it doesn’t crumble.
- The world’s largest popcorn ball was created by volunteers in Sac City, Iowa in February, 2009. It weighed 5,000 lbs., stood over 8 ft. tall, and measured 28.8 ft. in circumference.
- If you made a trail of popcorn from New York City to Los Angeles, you would need more than 352,028,160 popped kernels!
Put the butter down! Popcorn isn’t just for the movies anymore, after all. Here are some easy recipes and spooky snacks from Popcorn.Org to help you make some simple homemade popcorn treats:
Marshmallow Balls: All you need is popcorn, marshmallows, and butter. Melt the marshmallows and butter and pour over the popcorn. Then, simply form it into balls or bars!
Yield: About 7 pieces (4 ½ x 3 ½ inches each)
2 ½ quarts popped popcorn
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 cups mini marshmallows
4 tablespoons lime gelatin powder
Red gum balls, candy corn, flat green candy strips (or fruit leather), green sugar sprinkles
Place popcorn in a large bowl; set aside.
Melt butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Stir marshmallows into butter until melted. Stir in gelatin powder until evenly colored. Pour over popcorn and stir until evenly coated. With buttered hands, shape popcorn into 7 oval shapes.
Flatten one oval shape slightly and squeeze one end to form a ‘skull’ shape. Place onto parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining shapes.
To decorate: Press two gumballs into each skull to form ‘eyes’. Press candy corn into skull to from ‘teeth’. Use scissors to trim candy strips and press into top for ‘hair’. Sprinkle with sugar sprinkles.
Allow ‘zombies’ to set for about 20 minutes before wrapping individually in plastic wrap (or serve immediately).
Yield: 18 pops
5 cups popped popcorn
½ (11.5 ounce) store-bought pound cake
¾ cup canned vanilla frosting
8 ounces candy melts (assorted colors) for coating*
½ teaspoon vegetable oil
18 lollipop sticks
Decorations for cake pops: miniature chocolate chips, blue and red food gel, miniature chewy chocolate candies, food safe markers
*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 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.
Yield: 8 (4-inch) popcorn balls
16 chocolate wafer cookies
3 quarts popped popcorn
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter or
3 cups miniature marshmallows
3 tablespoons (1/2 of a 3-ounce box)
lime gelatin dessert mix
Green food color, optional
8 chocolate ice cream cones
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Orange sugar sprinkles, placed in a
Jelly beans, candy corn, licorice string
Spread a sheet of wax (or parchment) paper over a work surface and place the wafer cookies on it.
Spray a large mixing bowl with cooking spray and place popcorn inside.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in marshmallows and gelatin dessert powder until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. If desired, adjust color with a drop or 2 of food color. Pour over popcorn and mix well until coated.
Spray hands with cooking spray and press !rmly to form into 8 balls. Place balls on 8 of the wafer cookies. Press candy decorations into popcorn balls to form eyes, nose and mouth.
Place chocolate chips in a small microwave-safe bowl. Cover and heat for 10 seconds. Stir chocolate to aid melting. Repeat as needed until chocolate is melted and smooth.
Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon melted chocolate onto the top of each popcorn ball. Press a few licorice strings into chocolate to form ‘hair’.
Dip cone edges into melted chocolate and then into orange sugar sprinkles. Place on remaining wafer cookies to form witches hat. Place hats onto popcorn balls. Allow chocolate to set for about 45 minutes before serving.
Serve or seal individually in plastic wrap for storage.
Don’t feel like popping your own popcorn? Check out Capital Corn and Confections! With flavors like cinnamon bun, cookies and cream, and even pumpkin pie, you will fall in love with this popcorn.
For more fun popcorn ideas and recipes, check out our Pinterest Board!