Let’s talk about trick-or-treating for a minute. Do you only give candy to little kids, or will you also shell out for bigger kids (ahem, cough, adults)? I guess who you give candy to is your business, but I think, in the spirit of Halloween, anyone who takes the time to put on a costume and knock on your door should at least get a bite-sized Snickers. Just sayin.
But maybe I feel this way because I didn’t have normal trick-or-treating as a kid (and because I love Halloween and I’m all about everyone at every age getting festive!). We lived in the woods, down a long driveway, with only about 10 houses within a mile on either side of us. So Amanda and I didn’t really get that door-to-door experience. Instead, my parents would drive us from house to house, hoping our neighbors would be home and would have candy.
We always lucked out at the bottom of our hill, when we hit Hank & Vesta’s house. They were an adorable little old couple, who always bought loads of Girl Scout cookies from us, and always handed out fresh made popcorn balls for Halloween.
Eventually I got “too old to trick-or-treat” (which doesn’t actually exist…that’s like saying you’re too old to believe in Santa… um, also false), and Hank & Vesta’s house sold and became a winery, and I grew up and moved to Seattle, and I developed this weird thing where I like popcorn but thinking about eating it makes my teeth hurt, and I totally forgot about popcorn balls.
That is, until I saw these amazing brown butter marshmallow popcorn balls! WHAT! Guys, we’re talkin’ rice crispy treats, but with popcorn. Genius work here. The brown butter mallow combo is amazing as-is, but I decided to gussy these up a bit for Halloween, with orange and black Reese's Pieces that get all melty and peanut buttery. It's pretty amazing.
And guess what… if you come knocking at my door on Halloween, all costumed up and saying those magic words (minus the smell my feet part), I will definitely drop one of these in your candy bucket, whether you’re 4, 14, or 45. Especially if you’re 45.
Adapted from Love + Cupcakes
Makes about 30 2-inch balls. The original recipe has instructions for popping your own popcorn. I'm lazy, so I used 3 bags of lightly salted, unbuttered microwave popcorn. If you make your own, or use unsalted, just add a bit of sea salt to the mallow mixture. Also, the standard bag of mallows I found was 16 ounces, so I just didn't use the whole thing. One more thing: be sure to not get the unpopped kernels in your mix... they make for a hard little surprise when you bite down (trust).
7-8 cups popped lightly salted popcorn
1- 10oz bag marshmallows
1 stick butter
1.5 cups Reeses Pieces candy
Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and set aside.
In a large pot (I used a big stock pot), melt butter over medium heat, stirring until lightly browned. Turn heat to low, add marshmallows, and stir until melted. Remove from heat, and add popcorn. Stir (sort of gently) until all the popcorn is coated. Add about half the Reeses, stir and fold, and add the rest. Stir a few times—some of the candy will stay whole, and others will split and ooze out yummy peanut buttery goodness. Lightly coat your hands with butter or coconut oil, and get busy rolling. Let popcorn balls cool on wax paper.