Halloween is a special time in Hawai'i. Ghost stories and supernatural tales which give us chicken skin are abundant. Hallowed ground is everywhere and we are reverent of where we tread. Still, it is also a time of merry making, costumes, and parties.
Twenty-five years ago, when my children were growing up in Kona, there were few places to trick or treat. Many of us with little ones would go to the then-new subdivision below Lako street. There the little goblins and fairies could walk door to door, quickly gathering their bounty of candy. However, there was one house that went all out for Halloween! The owners of this property would empty out their home and transform it into a haunted house complete with different theme-filled rooms. There was a smokey cemetery and a ghastly laboratory featuring bowls filled with eyeballs for you to touch ( actually peeled grapes). They must have spent the entire year planning and preparing for this one fantastic night when they opened their home to the whole community. My children looked forward to it every year. Although Kona hasn't changed drastically over the last 30 years, memories such as these bring to mind how it isn't quite the sleepy small town it once was.
A great alternative to going trick or treating is to throw a little Halloween party at home complete with traditional goodies such as the following recipe for these scrumptious popcorn balls made with honey. Try some of our past recipes as well such as Savory Pumpkin Soup or Honey Caramel Apples.
Halloween Honey Popcorn Balls
- 10 cups Organic air-popped popcorn ( about 1/2 cup of corn kernals)
- 2/3 cup butter plus a bit more for your hands
- 1/2 cup Organic Wilelaiki Honey
- 1/2 tsp Hawaiian sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup chopped Macadamia nuts ( a small dice)
Preheat oven to 325F. Put the popcorn into a baking or roasting pan large enough to hold all of it
In a medium sauce pan, warm the butter, the Wilelaiki honey and salt over medium heat, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon until the butter has melted. In crease the heat and simmer the mixture for 1 minute, continuing to stir so that the mixture does not bubble over. Stir in the vanilla extract.
Pour the honey butter mixture over the popcorn and add the nuts . Stir gently to coat the popcorn and nuts evenly. Bake the popcorn for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Stir the mixture every few minutes while it is baking.
- Let the popcorn cool very slightly, about 3-5 minutes. Then, with buttered hands and working quickly, shape the mixture into balls about the size of your palm. If the mixture becomes difficult to shape, pop it back into the over for a few seconds to warm up.
- Place the honeyed popcorn balls onto a tray covered with parchment or waxed paper to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to devour!