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These popcorn balls are the perfect snack idea for a Halloween party or movie night! Fresh popcorn is tossed with a soft, vanilla caramel and wrapped in spooky marshmallow spider webs and chocolate spiders! You can also turn use candy eyes to make mummy popcorn balls. A great Halloween idea for kids and so fun to make and eat!
Halloween is on its way! No matter how you're celebrating this year, you need to have some spooky snacks to enjoy during your Halloween party or movie night!
Every year, I always do a few movie nights to ensure I get in all the time to watch my favorites; Sleepy Hollow, The Shining, The Exorcist and of course, Hocus Pocus. All the classics!
A great Halloween Party food Idea
There's no better way to add a touch of spooky to your Halloween party food or movie night than with some popcorn balls!
I had a lot of fun making these! There are quite a few steps but they came together beautifully. I don't have a lot of themed recipes on my blog so I thought this idea was a fun way to get into the spirit of Halloween.
Making Spooky Halloween Popcorn Balls
The process of making popcorn balls very easy but fair warning - these are rather messy to make and EVERYTHING will get sticky!! That's what makes it fun though. 😉
Fresh popcorn is coated with a homemade vanilla caramel. The thing I like about this caramel recipe is that it doesn't get rock hard. It stays a little soft which makes these popcorn balls easier to eat. This also makes the popcorn a bit softer as well. It was actually nice because they didn't make a crumby mess when you bite into them.
I had thought about making these with a harder caramel coating but I really like that these are more caramel heavy.
If you're a caramel lover, these are right up your alley!
After the popcorn balls are formed, they are then coated in melted marshmallow spider webs.
Marshmallow spider webs are such a brilliant idea and you can add them to pretty much anything like cakes, brownies & cookies. All you need to do is microwave some marshmallows and stretch it between your fingers to create long strands.
As you stretch the strands thinner and thinner, they really do look just like spider webs.
Be sure to watch the video in the recipe card on how I do this.
To make Spider Popcorn Balls
It's easy to make some chocolate spiders to place onto the popcorn balls.
All you need to do is melt some chocolate and place it in a piping bag. Pipe out spider shapes onto a tray lined with parchment. I've created a template that you can print out and use to make perfect little spiders!
Once your spiders are made, place in the fridge or freezer to harden and add them to the marshmallow spider webs while they're still sticky.
To make Zombie Popcorn Balls
For Zombie popcorn balls, all you need are candy eyes to stick onto the balls immediately after adding the marshmallow. I like to add sets of two eyes all over the popcorn ball.
And that's all there is to it!
I hope you enjoy making these for your next Halloween party or movie night!Print
For Chocolate Spiders
- ½ c chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
- Download the spider template here
For the Popcorn
- ¾ c unpopped popcorn
- 4 ½ tbsp vegetable oil
For the Caramel
- ¼ c butter (or ½ stick, salted or unsalted works), + ½ tablespoon set aside
- 1 c lightly packed brown sugar
- ½ c light corn syrup
- ⅔ c sweetened condensed milk (NOT an entire can)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Marshmallow Webs
- 25 large marshmallows
Once the caramel is ready, the process for these popcorn balls goes quick! Be sure to set your station up before hand so you're ready to go.
Set aside a wire rack or a baking sheet lined with parchment to place your popcorn balls once they're formed.
Additionally, keep some wet paper towels nearby at all times to wipe your hands as needed. Things are gonna get sticky!
For the Chocolate Spiders
- Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper. If using a template, place the template underneath the parchment. Click here to download the spider template I used in this post.
- In a microwavable bowl, heat the chocolate on high in 15 second intervals, stirring between each interval until melted.
- Assemble a piping bag with a small round tip and fill the bag with the melted chocolate.
- Pipe out spider shapes on top of the parchment paper.
- Place the tray in the freezer to chill and harden the chocolate.
For the Popcorn
I find it's best to make the popcorn in smaller batches to avoid burning.
- Place a baking sheet aside.
- In a medium pot, add 1 ½ tablespoon of the oil and heat over high heat.
- When the oil is hot, add ¼ c of unpopped popcorn kernels.
- Place the lid on top (you can also use a sheet of aluminum foil) and swirl the pot around to keep the kernels moving.
- Once the popcorn has popped, pour out on the baking sheet.
- Repeat this process 2 more times until all the popcorn is popped. Set all popcorn aside.
For the Caramel
- In a medium pot, combine the ¼ c butter, all of the sugar and corn syrup. Stir well and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.
- Once the mixture reaches this stage, add in the sweetened condensed milk and do not stop stirring.
- Insert a candy thermometer and heat to 238° F (114° C). Remove from the heat.
- Continue to stir the mixture as you add the vanilla extract. The caramel should bubble up quickly once the extract is added and the alcohol will burn off.
- Continue to stir until the mixture is no longer bubbling.
- Pour over the popcorn and use two large spoons or spatulas to toss the caramel and coat the popcorn evenly.
To form the popcorn balls
- Immediately after coating the popcorn with the caramel, begin to form the popcorn balls.
- With the remaining ½ tablespoon of butter, rub a dab of butter between your hands to ensure the caramel doesn't stick to your hands.
- Grab a small handful of the caramel popcorn and begin to form into a ball. No need to squeeze too hard, the popcorn will gently form into a ball.
- Once made, set aside on your wire rack or prepared baking tray.
- Repeat steps 2-3 until all the popcorn balls are made.
For the Marshmallow Webs
- Place the marshmallows in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high for 45 seconds to 1 minute, until they puff up and fill the bowl.
- Give the marshmallows a stir- they should turn into a creamy mixture.
- Dip the tips of your fingers into the marshmallows and bring your hands together. Pull them apart to reveal long strands of melty marshmallow.
- Drape and stretch the strands of marshmallow over the popcorn balls individually.
- Repeat until all of the popcorn balls are coated in the marshmallow webs.
Finishing off the Spooky Popcorn Balls
- While the marshmallow is still warm, place a chocolate spider or candy eyes on the popcorn balls.
- Allow finished balls to set uncovered for 1 hour.
- Best consumed same day.
Recipe by Owlbbaking.com
- Prep Time: 60
- Category: Halloween
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Halloween Popcorn Balls, Halloween Movie Night, Halloween Party Food Ideas