Around this time of year, it’s hard for anyone to ignore their sweet tooth. Between Halloween and football season, pumpkin spice and week after week of holiday dinners, we all end up craving treats that hit the sweet spot.
With its delicate, nuanced flavors, it’s no surprise that raw & unfiltered honey can make its way into many popular seasonal sweets as a sugar substitute or fall flavor. We’ve mentioned it before here on the blog as a holiday breakfast, an easy party cookie and even a savory main course, but it’s also an ingredient in the season’s most iconic candy: candy corn.
That’s right: the humble tricolored confection that has divided the nation for well over a century gets its inimitable, indescribable sweetness from honey. But it’s not even the only Halloween candy to make use of the sweet stuff; there’s one that’s slightly more obvious: the nostalgic, paper-wrapped Bit-O-Honey. Each tiny taffy roll features honey even more prominently than candy corn, with a sweet and savory one-two punch comprised of honey and almond butter.
So, while most Halloween candies are heavy on chocolate, caramel, nougat and just plain ol’ sugar, some use honey to great effect. In a bag overflowing with gooey artificial flavors and hefty hunks of chocolate, honey’s simple, natural sweetness stands out.
If you’re looking to make your own homemade Halloween treat or fall snack to help with that seasonal sweet tooth, these Honey Popcorn Pinecones are sure to hit the spot. Just promise us you won’t try to make your own Halloween candy – some treats just don’t need to be tricked up.
– 20 cups popped popcorn (approx 1 cup kernels)
– 1 1/4 cups butter, cut into chunks, plus more to grease your hands
– 1 1/4 cups Local Hive Honey
– 3/4 tsp salt
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325°. Put popcorn in a large roasting pan. Line a large baking sheet with waxed paper.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, use a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon to stir together the butter, honey and salt until melted. Increase heat and boil the honey mixture gently for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in vanilla.
- Gently drizzle the honey mixture over the popcorn in roasting pan and mix gently to coat.
- Bake the popcorn until deep golden all over – about 25 minutes – and stir every 5 minutes.
- Let popcorn stand 5 minutes or until just cool enough to handle. Working quickly with lightly buttered hands, press small handfuls of the mixture into 3-inch tall pinecone shapes, occasionally loosening popcorn from the bottom of the pan with a spatula. If the mixture cools too much to be malleable, return it to the oven for about 45 seconds to soften.
- Put popcorn pinecones on prepared baking sheet and let them cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.