Sunday, 24 October 2010

Candy Corn and Candied Corn

Halloween- one of my favourite holidays, and one that I feel is severely underrepresented here in the UK.  So much so that when I brought in a bag of 'candy corn' to work (albeit not necessarily the crème brulee of sweeties, but certainly one I love and get an undeniable hankering for around this time of year) sent to me by some lovely friends stateside,  everyone looked at the bag with a puzzled look on their face.  We are talking about people in the food industry, people with professional patisserie training and extensive ingredient knowledge- all with a blank face and a bit of hesitation to try to the tri-coloured gem.  Oh what they have been missing!  Not that I was ever allowed to eat more than a handful each Halloween season as a kid, but that handful represented the jack-o-lanterns, the costumes, the trick-or-treating; all the great stuff about the end of October when you're a kid.

In homage to my many Halloween experiences as a child, in attempt to give a bit of that experience to some of the unknowingly deprived British children here, and to try to use up some of the boatloads of candy corn now graciously in my possession I decided to make popcorn balls with candy corns.  These little balls are a bit gooey and sweet, with a touch of salt from the popcorn, and always always leave a trail of crumbs when you eat them!  They are fun to eat and actually really fun to make- so don't be afraid to dig your hands into the melted marshmallow mess as you roll them together.  I didn't have to actually eat one to feel a bit of the child-like excitement and anticipation that comes with Halloween- making them was enough!  That doesn't mean I'm not saving one for later though, don't be fooled....

Adapted from 'Cooking Light' (no joke)

¼ cup butter
8 cups popcorn (I did mine on the stove to make it slightly healthier but microwaved is fine too)
8-10oz/ 200-300g marshmallows
a good sprinkling of salt
1 cup+ candy corn


Make your popcorn.  I made mine by coating a medium sized pot with sunflower oil and heating it over the stove, making sure to coat the entire bottom and onto the sides.  Then add 100g corn maize kernels and cover with a lid, lightly shaking the pot from side to side.  Continue to shake the pot while the corn pops (you can hear it- it's very exciting!) - this not only helps the unpopped kernels to cook, but also keeps the freshly popped corn from burning.  You know the corn is popped when you can no longer hear or feel many raw kernels, and when there is a lull of 5 or more seconds.  Transfer your popcorn to a large bowl and sprinkle generously with salt.  Next add your candy corn to the bowl, taking care not to let them all sink to the bottom.  You'll want them spread evenly throughout your mix if possible.

In a small saucepan, melt your butter and marshmallows with a dash of salt over a low flame, stirring periodically as it begins to melt.  Do not allow it to bubble.  Once fully melted remove from heat and pour the melted mixture over your popcorn.  Mix thoroughly trying to evenly coat all of the corn.  Let cool for 5 minutes.

Line a baking tray (or two) with grease proof paper.  When your mixture has cooled, spray your hands with cooking spray first, then take a handful and squeeze the mixture together to form balls slightly smaller than tennis balls.  The marshmallows will work as glue allowing you to press tightly to form compact balls.  You may have to respray your hands every couple times, as the mixture is incredibly sticky!  Leave to dry/set on the baking tray for 30 minutes or so.  Then wrap the balls individually in clingfilm and give away as soon as possible (they probably will only keep for about 3 days or so) to anyone in need of a bit of Halloween cheer, perhaps reminding them about good dental hygiene as these things will certainly stick in your teeth... in a good way of course!


  1. Adrienne - I commented admiringly on Coffee in a Teacup in my blog, The Culinary Historian, and "borrowed" your Candy/Candied Corn recipe. Hope you like it.

  2. Thanks for the wonderful compliments and the link back, Deb! Love the historical references!

  3. I'm still new at this blogging thing - and having a blast!