Thursday, November 1, 2012

Chick-o-stix, Peanuts and Marshmallows Meet Balls.


Marshmallow Peanut or Peanut Butter Chick-o-stick?  Who cares, 'cuz--BALLS!
Kim and I made these today, for Dia de los Muertos tomorrow.  We could've just made plain ol' Hot Pink Popcorn Balls, but that's so four years ago.

Instead we whipped up crunchy popcorn balls loaded with gooey chunks of vegan marshmallows and roasted peanuts and then made another batch full of crushed Chick-o-sticks, a swirl of creamy peanut butter and more roasted peanuts.

The Chick-o-stick balls are my favorite, but then I LOVE Chick-o-sticks.  Really, they're both awesome, and it's not an easy decision to choose faves.

These smell so good and look so pretty.  I'm thankful they take a long time to eat, or I'd be ingesting way too many.
The marshmallows are hard to spot in the photos, but they reside in the blue balls (cough) and were left in gooey chunks.  Likewise, the Chick-o-sticks are camouflaged in the orange balls, but they're represented by dark orange pieces scattered throughout.

Crunchy Chick-o-Stick Popcorn Balls 
Crunchy Marshmallow Peanut Popcorn Balls
What You Need:
  • 1 cup unbleached granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (half stick) vegan butter
  • 1/3 cup organic corn syrup or half organic corn syrup and half agave nectar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 cups air-popped popcorn (two quarts)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • a dab of Wilton icing color paste
  • a candy thermometer 
  • mix-ins--
    • blue batch = 1/3 cup roasted peanut halves and 6-7 oz. vegan marshmallows
    • orange batch = 1/3 cup roasted peanut halves, a tablespoon of creamy peanut butter and 3 oz. crushed Chick-o-sticks
What You Do:  
  1. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment, and get out a big bowl large enough to accommodate the popcorn.
  2. Put the sugar, butter, corn syrup/agave and salt in a medium sized sauce pan. Stir to moisten the sugar. 
  3. Clip the candy thermometer to your saucepan and bring the caramel ingredients to a boil over medium/medium-high heat. Stir frequently to make sure the sugar does not burn. Once the caramel comes to a boil, stop stirring. Bring the caramel up to 270F, which is just past the hardball stage. Watch carefully! 
  4. Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and icing color. Stir well to distribute the color. 
  5. Quickly pour the caramel over the popcorn and toss in your mix-ins (if using marshmallows, throw them in after a fat minute so they don't dissolve into the caramel). Stir well with a large spoon to distribute the caramel evenly over the popcorn and mix-ins. You want to get as much coated in caramel-y goodness as possible.
  6. When the caramel cools down a minute to a temperature you can tolerate, oil your hands and form popcorn balls, work quickly as they begin to set up fast.  Make them as big as you like, and use medium pressure to make the balls uniform and compact. They will get very crunchy when cool.
Kim suggests using Red Hots!

Sugar skull pumpkininess.
Happy Dia del los Muertos!

xo
kittee

17 comments:

  1. These look great! I love peanut butter but my fiancé hates it! Will have to make these when he is at work hee hee! X

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    1. You could do marshmallow and toasted coconut or cashews!

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  2. Whoa. Popcorn balls + chick-o-sticks=mind blown They sound delish

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    1. They were really good, but I paid for it today. Total sugar hangover.

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  3. The Chic-o-stix look amazing. Hope you had a great feast!

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  4. omg these look awesome! They remind me of the goo balls I used to buy in the Phish lot before I realized that buying food in the Phish lot is kind of a bad idea and probably to blame for how sick I got after a run of shows.

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    1. Phish! You are brave to post that online. <3

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  5. I'm normally not the biggest popcorn ball fan, but peanuts & marshmallows in them? Sounds (& looks!) totally awesome!

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  6. Chick-o-stick balls! I LOVE Chick-o-sticks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And the blue balls (tee hee) sound delicious too!

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    1. I wanted to give out chick-o-sticks so badly on halloween, but i couldn't find a one. But then a box of them materialized for Kim.

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  7. I haven't had chick-o-sticks since I was a kid! I'd forgotten all about them! Love these Kittee!

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  8. I love your pumpkin! I started carving an elaborate shark in mine and got bored about 1/2 way through and just...stopped. Haha! Your's came out so great! you're so good at the skull pattern! believe it or not I've never had chick-o-stix nor know what they are. Nor have I ever celebrated dia de los muertos, somehow. High Five!

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    1. ha ha. your pumpkin sounds like the best, actually! chick-o-sticks are like the inside of a butterfinger bar...

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  9. I'm loving this idea! Tasty and fun!

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