This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.This post has been sponsored by Mars Wrigley Confectionery US, LLC. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Start a fun new tradition this year by boo’ing friends with TWIX® Caramel Popcorn & Halloween Poppers filled with Mars seasonal Halloween candies and other surprises!
TWIX® Caramel Popcorn & Halloween PoppersWho else is excited for Halloween already?!October is my favorite month, and Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love to celebrate with spooks and scares all month long, not just Halloween night. We make a fall bucket list at the start of the season, and so much of what is on there is typically specific to the month of October.Some of the fun things we do during October include our annual visit to the pumpkin patch, hayrides, baking Halloween cut-out sugar cookies, boo’ing friends and neighbors with goodies and treats, finishing up costumes, and hosting our annual Halloween party where everybody gets to make their own gourmet caramel apple. And then of course, there are Halloween parades at school and trick-or-treating on Halloween night!With so much going on, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done. That’s why I stock up on Halloween candy at Walmart early in the month by grabbing a big bag of my favorite Mars seasonal Halloween fun-size candies. Then I have them on hand for baking and activities throughout the month and don’t have to do a last-minute run on Halloween to have something to give to trick-or-treaters.Pick up your Halloween candy at Walmart now because you are definitely going to want to make a big batch of this caramel popcorn sooner rather than later; it would really work with any of the Mars candies (SNICKERS@ caramel popcorn anyone?)! Personally, I’m partial to TWIX, which is always the first candy bar I go for, but all of them are delicious added into a batch of chewy caramel corn. This is also a good recipe to have on hand for after Halloween when you have leftover Halloween candy as well.This recipe for TWIX caramel popcorn is perfect for parties from game day to Halloween. You can put out a big bowl and guests can munch on it all they want or divide it up into cellophane bags and tie the tops with some black and orange curly ribbon to deliver to neighbors.We love the tradition of “boo’ing” where you drop off a plate of goodies anonymously with a note to pass it on so that other families can be “boo’ed” before Halloween. My girls love ringing the doorbell then running away cackling to try to hide around the corner before our target gets to the door.
How to Make Homemade TWIX Caramel PopcornThis is the best caramel corn recipe ever if you like sweet and crunchy caramel corn. If you have never tried it before, it is so easy to learn how to make caramel popcorn at home. Once you have the hang of it, it can be a blank canvas for you to switch it up by adding nuts, candy, chocolate or white chocolate drizzles, etc. Here’s how you do it!
- Melt 2 sticks of butter in a medium saucepan, then add brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Stir constantly until everything combines and comes to a boil.
- Stop stirring and let the caramel bubble for 4 minutes over medium heat without stirring. Set a timer because those 4 minutes go pretty fast when you aren’t stirring!
- A soon as the timer goes off, remove the caramel from the heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. The caramel will bubble up for a few seconds when you first start stirring the baking soda and vanilla in, so be careful!
- Pour the hot caramel over a big bowl of popcorn. We just use plain popcorn that we pop on the stove in a large pan with a couple tablespoons of oil, but you can use the microwave kind or pop it in an air popper if you have one. It helps to drizzle the caramel over slowly, stirring the popcorn with a long wooden spoon as you go to help coat it evenly. You don’t need to worry about every piece of popcorn being coated with caramel just yet.
- Divide the caramel popcorn evenly between two baking sheets and pop them in a 250-degree oven to bake for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes to help the caramel corn bake evenly. The low oven temperature keeps the caramel soft so it’s easy to stir and the popcorn continues to be coated with caramel until it’s all evenly enrobed in sweet, cararmely goodness.
- Once the hour is up, sprinkle the caramel corn with chopped TWIX bars and pop it back in the oven for 3 minutes to help the candy melt just enough to stick to the caramel corn really well. This is going to help create clusters of caramel popcorn that have chunks of TWIX bar in them rather than having all the candy fall to the bottom of the bowl.
- Melt some chopped milk chocolate, drizzle it over the baked caramel corn, and stick it in the fridge until the popcorn is completely cool and the chocolate has hardened. Break up the caramel corn, then store in an airtight container.
How to Make Halloween PoppersWhile the “treat” portion of your Halloween boo’ing plate is baking in the oven, you can make the “trick” part by making some Halloween poppers to “boo” someone special.These Halloween poppers might be more commonly known as “Christmas crackers” since they have been part of British holiday festivities since the mid-1800’s. They are traditionally shared between two people (think pulling a wishbone at Thanksgiving) with one person gripping each end and both people pulling slowly at the same time until the popper tears open with a bang thanks to a “cracker snap”. Little treats and surprises inside fall out like a mini, personal pinata!Halloween poppers are easy to make with empty cardboard toilet paper rolls, a glue gun, and a few other supplies. My 2nd grader loves making these and can pretty much do it all on her own, with the exception of handling the glue gun which she isn’t quite ready for. Here are the supplies you will need to make Halloween poppers:
- 7 1/2 x 12 inch pieces of lightweight wrapping paper (thinner paper is easier to tear when the popper is pulled)
- 2 1/4 x 7 inch pieces of cardstock (for stiffening the ends of the poppers)
- empty cardboard tubes (empty toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls cut in half work great!)
- cracker snaps (you can find them easily on Amazon or other places online – the are just long cardstock strips with a friction activated snapping device in the center so that when they are pulled they “snap” with a bang)
- glue gun
- curling ribbon
- holiday erasers
- spider rings
- tissue paper crowns (here is an easey tutorial for how to make paper party hats to go into the poppers)
- notes or jokes on slips of paper
- small toys
- 15 cups plain popped popcorn (about 1 cup of unpopcorn kernels)
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 24 fun size Twix candy bars, chopped into bite-size pieces
- 2 cups milk or semisweet chocolate chips, melted
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F and place the popped popcorn in a large bowl, discarding any unpopped kernels. Set bowl aside.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt, then stir constantly until the caramel comes to a full boil.
- Stop stirring and let the caramel mixture boil for 4 minutes without stirring. Remove the caramel from the heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. Pour the caramel over the popcorn in the bowl and gently stir to coat the popcorn.
- Divide the caramel popcorn evenly between two large baking sheets and bake at 250 degrees F for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the chopped TWIX candy bars. Return the popcorn to the oven for 3 more minutes to let the TWIX just begin to melt into the popcorn.
- Remove the TWIX caramel corn from the oven and drizzle with melted chocolate, then cool completely until the chocolate hardens. This can be sped up by sticking the caramel popcorn in the freezer or fridge. Break up into smaller chunks and store at room temperature in an airtight container.