|Mookie and Tokki in their matching skeleton costumes!|
|And they're glow-in-the-dark too!|
For the caramelized popcorn balls, I used a recipe from Planetgreen. What's great about it is that you don't need a candy thermometer. Instead of sugar and corn syrup as the main ingredient, this recipe uses barley malt syrup and maple syrup. It has a deeper, almost molasses-y taste (vs. more caramel-y), so it may take some getting used to. But they worked great and when you wrapped them in the wax paper and twisted the ends, it ends of looking a little like a ghost. Perfect for the spooky season!
To simplify the process, I used 6 oz. of ready-made popcorn and increased the maple syrup and barley malt syrup to 2/3 cup each. It made about 16 popcorn balls.
Next I made caramel apples using another recipe from Planetgreen. I was amazed at what the arrowroot powder could do. It thickened the sugary sauce into a rich, creamy caramel sauce, the consistency a lot like gravy. It never hardens so unfortunately you can't do caramel coated apples (I tried and then had to scrape the sauce off), but it made for a great dipping sauce.
Next came the pumpkin-carving. My friend and I have been carving pumpkins now for 2 years, so we pretty much have it down to a science now. I realize that I had absolutely no technique when I was younger, which was probably why my pumpkins turned out crappy and I hated the whole experience. But, if you prep your pumpkin well enough, the carving is easy and you can make some great designs! And never fear, I used a template (although I did free-carve the monster and it looks pretty great, if I do say so myself!)
Last, I cleaned and dried out the pumpkin seeds and roasted them with a little canola oil and sea salt. 400 degrees, about 15 minutes, and you got yourself a great snack!
Have a Happy Howl-O-Ween!