Edible, handmade holiday decor perfect for gifting
(Family Features) ’Tis the season to pop up some holiday fun by creating a scenic winter wonderland that tastes as great as it looks.
Gather the kids and make a hands-on family holiday tradition out of crafting festive, edible decorations. Popcorn is the perfect choice to pop up and eat while trimming your popcorn tree and decking out your creations. At 30 calories a cup, whole-grain, freshly popped popcorn offers a nutritious alternative to traditional holiday party nibbles. Popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories, non-GMO, gluten-free, has no artificial additives or preservatives and is sugar-free.
These clever recipes can help you make edible decor or gifts to give to friends, family and co-workers. Find more creative holiday recipes at popcorn.org.
Festive Popcorn Trees
Yield: 10 trees
- 10 cups air-popped popcorn
- 1 bag (10 ounces) miniature marshmallows
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- nonstick cooking spray
- green decorating sugar
- blue decorating sugar
- 1 tube white frosting with decorating tip
- small, colorful candies (such as sprinkles and miniature silver dragees)
- Place popcorn in large bowl.
- Place marshmallows and butter in medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.
- Stir in vanilla extract.
- Pour mixture over popcorn in bowl. Toss well to coat popcorn evenly.
- Line baking sheet with foil.
- Spray hands with nonstick cooking spray then scoop up about 1 cup popcorn mixture.
- Shape mixture into cone, keeping base flat to form tree.
- Sprinkle tree with decorating sugars; place tree on baking sheet.
- Make nine additional trees.
- Pipe frosting on trees to make garland then decorate with sprinkles and silver dragees, as desired.
Serving suggestion: Place each tree on sugar cookie and decorate serving tray with shredded coconut to resemble snow.
Notes: For best flavor and color, start recipe with unflavored white popcorn. You can make your own colored sugar by adding food coloring to sugar then stirring in bowl or shaking vigorously in sealed container. Add additional food coloring for more intense tones.
Holiday Popcorn Snowman
Yield: 5 snowmen
- 1 package (1 pound) large marshmallows
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, plus additional
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 10 cups popped popcorn
- sprinkles (optional)
- licorice (optional)
- gum drops (optional)
- cinnamon candies (optional)
- In large saucepan, melt marshmallows and 1/4 cup butter.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Let stand 5 minutes.
- Pour over popcorn and stir mixture.
- Butter hands well and form into balls.
- Decorate with sprinkles, licorice, gum drops and cinnamon candies, as desired.
Holiday Wreath Popcorn Treats
Yield: 8 wreaths
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 3 quarts popped popcorn
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
- 3 cups miniature marshmallows
- 3 tablespoons lime gelatin dessert mix
- small red candies
- red fruit leather
- Lightly spray large mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray and place popcorn inside.
- In medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Stir in marshmallows and gelatin dessert mix until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. Pour over popcorn and mix until coated.
- Spray hands with cooking spray and press firmly to form into 9-inch logs then bend to form wreaths.
- Place wreaths on wax paper. Press candies and jellybeans into wreaths as decorations; cut fruit leather to make ribbon and add.
- Serve immediately or wrap individually in plastic wrap for storage. Add ribbon tie to plastic wrap as decorative closure.
Tip: Soak saucepan before cleaning.
Chocolate Popcorn Reindeer
Yield: 8 reindeer
- 8 cups unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn
- 2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
- 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons butter or light olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 16 pretzel sticks
- 16 eyeball candies
- 8 red candy-coated chocolate candies
- Place popcorn in large mixing bowl.
- In saucepan set over medium heat, heat marshmallows, chocolate, butter and salt, stirring often until smooth. Toss marshmallow mixture with popcorn until well combined.
- Scoop 3/4 cup popcorn mixture into ball. Repeat with remaining mixture to make eight balls total. Place each ball in paper muffin cup liner.
- Insert pretzel stick on each side of ball to resemble antlers, attach two eyeball candies for eyes and red candy for nose. Let cool completely.
Tip: Eyeball candies can typically be found in baking aisles of supermarkets or bulk food stores.
(Family Features) Crisp fall days call for flavorful desserts that warm you from the inside out. There’s no better way to capture the flavor of fall than with dishes that celebrate traditional seasonal favorites like cinnamon, spice and tart, juicy apples.
These desserts are perfect for fall, and a secret ingredient makes them quick and easy so you have plenty of free time to work up an appetite and earn an extra bite (or two). Apple butter is more than just a spread for toast; it’s a versatile ingredient that can enhance your favorite recipes. With Musselman’s Apple Butter, made the old-fashioned way for perfect texture and a deep, rich flavor, you can make it simple to satisfy your craving for a taste of autumn at its best.
Find more fall tips and recipes perfect for sharing with your family at musselmans.com.
Caramel Crumble Bars
- 1 box (15 1/4 ounces) yellow cake mix, dry
- 1/2 cup butter, softened, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
- 3/4 cup Musselman’s Apple Butter, plus 3 tablespoons
- 1 egg
- 1 package (11 ounces) caramels, unwrapped
- 2/3 cup walnuts, chopped
- 2/3 cup flaked coconut, sweetened
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Heat oven to 350° F. Grease 13-by-9-inch baking pan.
- With electric mixer on low speed, beat dry cake mix and 1/2 cup softened butter until mixture is crumbly. Spoon 1 cup cake mix mixture into medium bowl; set aside.
- Add 3/4 cup apple butter and egg to remaining mixture. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
- Spread evenly into pan. Bake 20 minutes, or until starting to brown and top is set.
- Place caramels, 2 tablespoons butter and remaining apple butter in microwavable bowl. Microwave on high 3-4 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth and melted.
- Pour caramel mixture evenly over partially baked crust. If caramel has cooled and set, microwave 1 minute until soft and pourable.
- Combine walnuts, coconut and 2 tablespoons melted butter with reserved cake mix mixture. Mix until crumbly.
- Break up topping and sprinkle evenly over caramel.
- Bake 16-18 minutes, or until topping is starting to brown. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
Easy Apple Pie Bars
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 7 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
- 1 cup Musselman’s Apple Butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 frozen pie crusts, defrosted
- 1 egg white
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Heat oven to 350° F. Grease 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place diced apples in large mixing bowl. Add apple butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla and brown sugar. Mix until apples are evenly coated.
- Place one pie crust in bottom of greased pan. Slowly stretch out crust to cover pan’s bottom. Cut some edges off, if necessary. Spread apple filling evenly over crust.
- With rolling pin, roll second crust to make it same size as pan. Place second crust on top of apple pie filling and tuck down edges to cover.
- To make topping: In small bowl, whisk egg white until foamy and brush over crust. In another bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle evenly over crust.
- Bake 50-60 minutes until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly before cutting.
- To make glaze: In small bowl, combine powdered sugar, milk and remaining vanilla, and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over cooled bars and serve.
Source: Musselman’s Apple Butter
Make the Season Simple and Sweet
(Family Features) Nothing says home for the holidays like the smell of treats baking in the oven and a crowded kitchen filled with loved ones. Whether making decades-old family favorites or starting new holiday baking traditions, you can create homemade holiday goodies in a (ginger) snap.
“The holidays are a time when families are in the kitchen at record rates to bake cookies, build gingerbread houses and create a wide variety of sweet treats,” says Nancy Siler, vice president of consumer affairs at Wilton. “The good news is, even if you only have 30 minutes to spare during this hectic time, you can make amazing desserts for gatherings or gifting.”
Try these easy treat ideas from Wilton to spread holiday cheer:
- Holiday Helpers: Invite family and friends for a cookie decorating day to help prepare gifts for upcoming events. You provide the Sparkling Sugars and Sprinkles, Peppermint Twisted Sticks and red and green icing ... everyone else provides the creativity.
- Miracle on Your Street: Crunched for time with a party to attend? Pick up ready-to-eat cookies and artfully dip them in red and green Candy Melts candy for an elegant upgrade. No one has to know how simple it was to create a customized dessert.
- Instant Snowman: Coat peanut butter sandwich cookies in white Candy Melts candy to create instant snowmen. Decorate with hats, scarves and, of course, carrot noses.
- It’s a Wrap: Turn your homemade treats into gourmet gifts. Stock up on holiday-themed gift bags and boxes, colorful tissue paper, ribbons and tags to transform made-from-the-heart goodies into extra special gifts.
For more holiday ideas and inspiration, visit www.wilton.com.
Festive Peppermint Twists
- Dark Cocoa, Light Cocoa, Green or White Candy Melts Candy
- Peppermint Twisted Sticks Candy
- Assorted Holiday Sprinkles, including Holiday Nonpareils, Confetti and Jimmies, Red and Green Colored Sugars
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. In Disposable Dipping Container or bowl, separately melt Candy Melts candy in microwave following package instructions.
- Dip peppermint sticks into melted candy; tap stick lightly to smooth surface. Immediately add sprinkles. Set on prepared cookie sheet; chill until set, 5 to 10 minutes.
(Family Features) Next time you reach for a snack, go for a great-tasting option that delivers on both flavor and nutrition. Sensible snacks can be surprisingly delicious when you choose ingredients wisely.
One pop-ular choice: popcorn. Ideal for between-meal snacking since it satisfies but doesn’t spoil the appetite, popcorn is also the perfect addition to treats such as snack bars and trail mix. The key to smart snacking is finding good-for-you ingredients that make your body healthy and your taste buds happy.
With no artificial additives or preservatives, popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories. The whole grain provides energy-producing complex carbohydrates and contains fiber, providing roughage the body needs in the daily diet.
Find more healthy snack solutions at popcorn.org.
There’s nothing like the taste of freshly popped popcorn and nothing like the disappointment of burnt popcorn. Follow these simple steps and you’ll have perfect popcorn every time.
- Whether on the stove or in the microwave, popcorn will begin popping in a few minutes.
- When the popping begins to slow, listen until you can count two seconds between pops. Remove the pan from heat or bag from microwave.
- Remember to lift the lid or open the bag away from your face to prevent steam burns.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Corn
Yield: 10 cups
- 8 cups popped popcorn
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup crunchy granola
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup walnut halves
- In bowl, toss popcorn with melted butter.
- Combine sugar with cinnamon; sprinkle over popcorn. Toss with granola, raisins and walnuts until combined.
Crispy Crunchy Apple Popcorn
Yield: 7 cups
- 6 cups popped popcorn
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups dried apple chips
- Heat oven to 300° F.
- Line 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil; butter foil. Spread popcorn in pan and drizzle with melted butter; toss popcorn. Sprinkle popcorn with sugar and cinnamon, and toss again.
- Bake 7 minutes.
- Sprinkle apple chips over popcorn and heat an additional 3 minutes.
- Serve warm, or cool to room temperature. Store in airtight container.
Crunchy Popcorn Trail Mix
Yield: 9 cups
- 5 cups popped popcorn
- 3 cups whole-grain oat cereal
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup peanuts (or other nuts)
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- In large, microwavable bowl, stir together popcorn, cereal, raisins, nuts and seeds; set aside.
- In small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup. Heat until boiling; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour over popcorn mixture, stirring to coat evenly. Microwave 3-4 minutes, stirring and scraping bowl after each minute.
- Spread onto greased cookie sheet; cool.
- Break into pieces and store in airtight container.
Popcorn Granola Snack Bars
Yield: 16 bars
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2/3 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup granola cereal
- 1 cup roasted and salted peanuts
- 3 cups popped popcorn
- Line 8- or 9-inch square baking pan with foil. Spray foil lightly with cooking spray; set aside.
- In large saucepan, heat honey until boiling. Stir in peanut butter until well blended.
- Remove pan from heat and stir in granola, peanuts and popcorn until coated. Press mixture evenly into prepared pan.
- Refrigerate until cool; cut into bars to serve.
Yummy Yogurt Popcorn
Yield: 2 1/2 quarts
- 2 1/2 quarts popped popcorn
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- In large bowl, keep popped popcorn warm.
- In 2 1/2-quart saucepan, combine yogurt, brown sugar and corn syrup. Cook and stir over medium heat to hard ball stage (250° F on candy thermometer).
- Pour over popped popcorn, stirring to coat.
Source: The Popcorn Board