Need a sweet treat for Halloween? Look no further.
The ladies behind Liddabit Sweets, a Bedford-Stuyvesant bakery that can also be found all over Brooklyn at places like the Brooklyn Flea and Bklyn Larder, have shared with us their recipe for Honey-nut Popcorn Balls, a crunchy, sugary snack that’s just the right shape for some Halloween-themed decorating, if you’re in the mood.
“You could certainly stick some candies on there to make a Jack O’ Lantern face,” volunteered co-founder Liz Gutman. Though, after our own little taste test, these treats are sweet enough without the extra sugar!
They’re best within a few days of making, but will stay good for up to a week, for a post-Halloween sugar high.
Honey-nut Popcorn Balls
(makes about 20)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tbl. honey
3/4 tsp. baking soda
10 cups popped corn (1 plain microwave bag or 1/4 cup kernels)
1-1/2 cups roasted almonds (or whatever nut you like)
Have on hand an oiled bowl, with the popped popcorn in it, and two oiled, heat-proof spatulas or spoons. (Be vigilant about removing all unpopped kernels.)
In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add sugars, salt, honey, and corn syrup and cook to 300 degrees over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. The mixture will look thick and bubbly. Add the baking soda and stir well to incorporate; it will increase in volume.
Pour the caramel evenly over the popcorn in the oiled bowl, then sprinkle the nuts. Using your spatulas or spoons, toss together until corn is evenly coated. When the caramel has cooled somewhat but not brittle, after two to three minutes of tossing, shape into two-inch balls with lightly oiled hands. (Don’t be afraid to really crush the popcorn to mold it into a ball. And, since the caramel is still somewhat hot at this point, this isn’t an activity for kids).