Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Popcorn Balls, and Caramel Apples: Why Just for Halloween?

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While you’re carving that Halloween Jack-O-Lantern and thinking about Halloween treats, here are some easy recipes for roasted pumpkin seeds, popcorn balls, and caramel appples to add to the holiday excitement!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


Seeds from 1-2 large pumpkins

Sea salt

(Optional but recommended: garlic powder, cinnamon, cayenne)


After scooping out all the seeds from your Jack-O-Lantern, separate as many as possible from the stringy flesh and then rinse them off under cool water.

Lightly salt or add other flavorings such as onion, cayenne, garlic, or cinnamon, and mix well with your hands.  (Many of these spices work well in combination.)

Spread them out on a dry cookie sheet and place them in a pre-heated oven set at 250 degrees; crack the oven door slightly.

Stir the seeds occasionally to let them bake evenly. When the whole kitchen smells of pumpkin--usually about 10 minutes, they’re done!  (Seeds should no longer be moist, but dry and somewhat crispy.)


Popcorn Balls


2 quarts of popped popcorn

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 cup sugar (brown or natural, preferred)

1/3 cup water

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 tablespoon soy margarine or butter substitute

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

(A candy thermometer will come in handy if you have one available)


Dump popcorn into a large bowl and set aside.

In a heavy saucepan, combine molasses, sugar, water, vinegar, and margarine.  Cook, without stirring, over medium heat until the mixture reaches 235 degrees F on a candy thermometer, or forms a soft ball when dropped in a cup of water (soft-ball stage).

Add baking soda and stir well.

Remove from heat and immediately pour over popcorn, stirring gently with a wooden spoon until well coated.

When cool enough to handle, quickly shape into 3-inch balls, dipping hands in cool water to prevent the syrup from sticking.  Let cool. 


Caramel Apples


6 apples (per 14 ounce bag of caramels)

1 14 ounce package of individually wrapped caramels (unwrapped) with sticks

2 tablespoons soy milk

(Optional toppings: chopped peanuts, cinnamon, chocolate jimmies, or other sprinkles)


Remove the stem from each apple and press a craft stick into the top. Grease a baking sheet with soy margarine or butter substitute.

Place caramels and milk in a small sauce pan on medium heat and allow caramels to melt, stirring once a minute. (This can also be done by putting caramels in a bowl and then setting them in a second bowl of water, then microwaving for 2 minutes on high, stirring once.) Allow to cool briefly.

Roll each apple quickly in caramel sauce until well coated, and place on baking sheet to set.  Apply toppings if desired.


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Irene Nevins
Posted on Oct 27, 2010
Ron Siojo
Posted on Oct 27, 2010