Today's Snack: What we're making is edible, but it'll
probably make you sad to eat your creation so soon. So make sure to form
yourself a couple of small popcorn balls that you don't plan to use in your
artistic efforts, but can . . . excuse the pun . . . POP into your mouth as you
go along! Plus, there will be no doubt be extra edible supplies left over!
To make six or eight popcorn snow creatures that
double as a creative snack:
cups popped popcorn
cup corn syrup (such as Karo)
prepared frosting OR ¼ C. powdered sugar with a few drops water mixed into
frosting in squeeze tubes
licorice, cut thin
or red hots
leather or fruit by the foot or peel-and-pull Twizzlers
striped shortbread cookies
chocolate almond bark or chocolate chips
Put popcorn in large, greased roasting pan and keep it
warm in the oven at 275 degrees or so while you're making the syrup.
Butter the sides of a 2-quart, heavy saucepan. Combine
sugar, water, corn syrup, vinegar and salt. Cook and stir over medium-high heat
until mixture boils, about six minutes.
Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, or set
timer for 20 minutes. Boil moderately, stirring occasionally, 'til thermometer
registers 250 degrees, the hard-ball stage. It may take a few minutes more than
20. It should just begin to change colors from clear to yellowish. Stir in
Take popcorn out of oven. Pour syrup over it. Stir gently
with a big spoon, to coat. Cool until it's still hot, but you can just barely
touch it without it hurting.
Rub butter in your hands. If you're going to form
snowpeople, form three sizes of popcorn balls: small, medium and large. Squeeze
a base, you can place your snowperson in a plastic or Styrofoam bowl, for support.
Or place on top of a fudge striped shortbread cookie, chocolate side down. Be
careful! It may lean, and you'll have to nudge it back so it'll stay straight.
If you'd like pretzel-stick arms, push the pretzel sticks
into the sides of the medium-size popcorn balls as you're forming them.
While popcorn balls are still hot, you should be able to
add decorations for eyes, nose mouth, buttons, etc., but if they won't stick,
use white frosting or other edible "glue." You could use "glue" to make your
popcorn creature stand up straight, too. Use squeeze or gel frosting for "hair"
or other decorations.
Of course, you could make other kinds of popcorn
creatures or objects, and decorate them to suit: a Dalmatian with brown M&M
"spots," for example, or a rocket ship with jawbreaker "controls."
For snowmen's scarves, cut long rectangles out of fruit
leather, fringe the ends with scissors, and wrap around neck.
For a big top hat, dip a large marshmallow into melted
chocolate, and rest it on another fudge striped shortbread cookie - perhaps
nibbled down around the edges in size so that it's not as wide. "Paint" the
chocolate around the cookie, which is now the "hat rim," and let dry for a
minute before you place it on your snowperson with a little frosting "glue."