Honey Covered Apples, Popcorn Balls, and Pumpkin Seeds - Oh My!

It’s that time of year when the sun sets sooner and the breeze gets crisper... and we all know that Halloween must finally be here! This is also one of the craftiest times of the year, urging families of all kinds to cut, create, and glue their hearts out.  Steak knives and sharpie pens go missing as the faces of eerie jack-o-lanterns start to take form, while empty toilet paper rolls and fishing poles unveil hovering ghosts in the foyer.  We all know that reaching for that giant bag of overpriced assorted candies is the easiest go-to for Halloween trick-or-treaters but if you have a little more time this year, and an eye for creativity, try these wonderfully original hand-made treats that will make your house the favorite on the street!

1. Honey and Caramel Covered Apples

  • Yield: 6 to 8 Caramel Apples (6 to 8 Servings)
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Ready In: 35 mins
  • 6 medium apples (or substitute 8 small apples)
  • 1 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
  •  natural red food dye (optional)
  • 1/2 cup crushed pecans (preferably soaked and dried)
  • sticks or wooden dowels
  1. Whisk honey, cream, butter and salt in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat until it begins to bubble, then immediately reduce the heat to medium. Stir in food coloring, adjusting the volume to match the intensity of color you like. 
  2. Continue to whisk the caramel frequently to prevent scorching and to prevent it from bubbling up and out of of your saucepan. Continue to cook until the caramel reaches a temperature of 260 F (about 25 minutes). The caramel should be a rich brown or red-brown if you also used food coloring; the bubbles should be small and should uniformly cover the surface of the pan and the caramel should be thickened.
  3. Prepare an ice bath. Then pour the hot caramel into a mixing bowl and place the bowl in the ice bath, taking care not to splash water into the hot caramel. Stir the caramel until it is uniformly cooled and it begins to thicken just a bit. 
  4. Plunge a wooden stick or dowel into the core of your apples and roll them, one by one, in the caramel until uniformly coated. Roll them in chopped pecans and place them on a piece of parchment paper to cool completely before serving. To read more about this wonderful recipe from the NourishedKitchen.com, go to: http://nourishedkitchen.com/honey-caramel-apples/#ixzz2iy3Hz9k2 

2. Honey Caramel Corn Balls

  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. honey (Cloister Honey: Wildflower)
  • 3 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 10 cups popped popcorn
  • 2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups honey-roasted peanuts
In a saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add sugars, honey, and corn syrup and cook to 300° stirring occasionally. Place popcorn in a lightly oiled bowl. Pour caramel over popcorn and toss to combine, using spatulas sprayed with cooking spray. When popcorn has cooled slightly but is not quite set, mix in salt and peanuts. With oiled hands, form into 2-inch balls, working quickly, to get all the popcorn balls made before the caramel sets! To read more about this wonderful recipe from the CherryTeaCakes.com, go to: http://www.cherryteacakes.com/2011/03/orange-honey-caramel-corn.html

3. Honey Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • Prep time: 
  • Cook time: 
  • Total time: 
  • Serves: 2 cups 
  • 2 c. pumpkin seeds (about 2 small pumpkins), cleaned
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin seed oil or olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. runny honey
  • Flaky sea salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 F.
  2. Cut open your pumpkins. Remove the pulp and stringy bits from the seeds and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Make sure that there is no remaining moisture.
  3. In a large wide skillet, warm the oil over medium heat and saute the pumpkin seeds until lightly golden, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the honey and stir with a rubber spatula.
  5. Transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally so that they do not burn.
  6. Taste one of the seeds. You want them crispy throughout, and not soft in the center. Continue to cook if necessary.
  7. When finished, tip the seeds out onto a parchment lined or non stick baking sheet to cool.
  8. While hot, sprinkle with salt to taste (if using Maldon, make sure to pinch the salt between your fingers to break up the flakes).
  9. Enjoy with ice cold beer.
If you do not have an oven safe skillet, simply toss the seeds with oil and honey and roast them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt straight from the oven. To read more about this wonderful recipe from TheCleverCarrot.com, go to: http://www.cherryteacakes.com/2011/03/orange-honey-caramel-corn.html

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