In anticipation of the upcoming Easter holiday, I created these cute little creatures as table favours. They are essentially popcorn balls on sticks, adorned with a few little avian accessories. They are gooey, chewy, and lots of fun to make. This recipe makes 10 chicks. You’ll need:
- 12 cups popped popcorn
- 1/4 cup butter
- 4 cups mini marshmallows
- 2 1/2 cups yellow candy melts
- 1 cup corn syrup
- yellow food colouring
- cooking spray
- 10 lollipop sticks
- 10 yellow “citrus slices”
- 20 green, or blue candy coated sunflower seeds
- 20 orange “Mike and Ike” candies
Start by melting your butter in a large pot. Once melted, add your marshmallows and stir until they are gooey and mostly melted. Then 2 cups of your candy melts (you can use plain white chocolate, and just add more food colouring), your corn syrup, and enough food colouring to achieve your desired yellow. Continue stirring until the mixture becomes sticky, and a bit stringy.
Pour your popcorn into the largest bowl you can possibly find, and cover it with the marshmallow mixture. Combine the two until all of the popcorn is coated.
Spray your hands with cooking spray and grab a large handful (about 1 cup) of coated popcorn. Squeeze and roll it in your hands until it forms a fairly dense ball. Set aside on a parchment lined baking tray and repeat this process until your popcorn is gone.
Melt the remaining candy melts in the microwave by zapping them for 20 second increments, and stirring in between. Dip the end of a lollipop stick into the melted candy and then force it into a popcorn ball (about 1 1/2 inches deep). The candy will prevent the stick from sliding around in your popcorn ball. Repeat this process with the remaining popcorn balls.
To decorate, cut your citrus slices in half, dip the raw edge of each half in the melted candy, and adhere it to the side of your chick like wings. Dip your Mike and Ike candies, and stick them onto the front of your chick like a beak. Carefully dip your little sunflower seeds, and stick them on for eyes.
You can package these up in cellophane and give them as Easter gifts, or hide them in your yard as a special treat during an egg hunt. Kids and kids at heart will get a kick out of their chubby little faces. Happy Easter everyone!
These treats are the ultimate in decadence. They are relatively easy, and make the perfect handheld party food. You’ll need:
- 20 wooden lollipop sticks
- parchment paper
- 1 bag of large marshmallows
- 1 1/2 cups of white sugar and 3/4 cup heavy cream OR 4 cups of chewy caramels
- 6 cups of milk chocolate (chunks, chips, or discs)
- toppings of your choice: sprinkles, skor bits, white chocolate and peanut butter chips
In a deep, thick bottomed skillet heat your sugar over medium until it liquifies and turns a golden caramel brown. Turn the heat to low and add the cream little by little, stirring as you go. If you aren’t comfortable working with sugar, you can melt down chewy caramels instead. Pour the mixture into a small, deep vessel (I used a measuring cup) and set aside to cool for a few minutes.
While the mixture is cooling, skewer three marshmallows onto each of your sticks. I found that the marshmallow stuck well to the wooden sticks, but you can use whatever you have around.
Once your caramel has cooled slightly, dip your pops and let any excess drip off. As you use up your caramel you may have to tilt your bowl in order to fully coat the marshmallows. Place the dipped pops on parchment to set. The caramel will not completely harden, but the chocolate will seal in any moisture.
Now you can let your caramel coated pops sit as you melt your chocolate. Follow these easy instructions for tempering chocolate in the microwave to avoid that gross dusty look: http://www.ehow.com/how_2128206_temper-chocolate-using-microwave.html. Repeat the dipping process with your melted chocolate. Make sure to tap off as much excess as you can. I found that as my chocolate cooled, it started to pull away from the caramel, so work quickly.
If you are adding solid toppings, like skor bits, you can sprinkle them on to the chocolate before it cools, and then lay your finished pop on a fresh sheet of parchment to harden.
I also made some pops with melted white chocolate and peanut butter chips drizzled over them. For these, set your pops down on parchment to let the milk chocolate harden while you melt your toppings. Place about 1/2 cup of each topping in a ziploc bag and microwave for 20 seconds. Take the bags out, squish around the chips, and put them back in for another 10 seconds. Continue this until most of the chips are melted, the unmelted chips will melt when you squeeze them around in the bag.
Cut a small hole in the corner of each bag and drizzle the topping back and forth across your pops. Carefully move them to a fresh sheet of parchment to cool.
Once the chocolate has completely hardened, your pops are ready to serve! You can also wrap them up individually for cute little favours. You can keep them in a cool, dry place for a few days until they are eaten.