When Sweet Shark and I first started dating, I knew he might be the right one for 2 reasons ~ well, actually alot of reasons, but 2 really stood out: 1. He doesn’t drink coffee and neither do I and 2. He loves popcorn almost as much as I do. Over the years, we’ve shared thousands of bowls of popcorn. Since October is National Popcorn Month, I was ready to create a new popcorn snack suitable for Halloween. Last year I created a Spicy Pumpkin Popcorn Snack just for us. Since I don’t know any kid who doesn’t like something a little sweet, I decided to devised a popcorn snack a little on the sweet side. So I can now share 2 Pumpkin Popcorn Snacks ~ 1 Spicy and 1 Sweet.
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Sweet Pumpkin Spice Popcorn
With Halloween just around the corner, I wanted a popcorn treat with a little bit of sweetness. Rather than use regular granulated sugar, I opted for turbinado (sugar in the raw), as a little bit healthier choice. Less processed than brown sugar, turbinado is made from the first pressing of sugar cane and retains some natural molasses. It has a light caramel flavor that makes it a good replacement for regular white sugar and adds a little bit of crunch to the popcorn. I also wanted to include a bit of pumpkin flavor ~ not too much to overpower the popcorn, but just enough to add a sense of fall seasoning.
I used my Poppery II Air Popper which my kids gave me years ago for Mother’s Day. After thousands of bowls of popcorn, it just keeps popping its little heart away.
You could, of course use a ready-to-go popcorn like Original SkinnyPop Popcorn instead and skip the popping.
1/3 cup unpopped kernels makes 8 cups popped kernels. Place the popped corn kernels in a large bowl.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (I used the microwave.)
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
1/2 tablespoon pumpkin spice
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Add the sugar, spice and salt to the melted butter and stir to combine.
Drizzle the melted butter mixture over the popcorn and toss to throughly coat the popcorn and distribute evenly. Taste for any additional seasoning.
For Halloween trick or treaters, I placed about 1/2 cup popcorn in a plastic bag and tied with a festive ribbon.
We’re ready for Halloween!
Spicy Pumpkin Popcorn Snack
Have you ever found a recipe in a magazine or on Pinterest, Google, even one of your own cookbooks that you really wanted to make? Something that looked and sounded delicious? When you are ready to shop for ingredients or make the darn thing, you can’t remember where you saw it? You search frantically, trying to remember which magazine, which website, racking your brain to remember what the magazine cover looked like, what was the name of that site? Why didn’t I dog-ear the page, Pin It, rip out the page, print it, save it? That happened to me last year. In addition to all the pumpkin recipes that I do have on file and have made, I’ve been on the lookout for others. Something a little different, something I’ve never tried. I found one (I’m sure I Pinned it, but I searched and can’t find it!) that looked interesting. It was a combination of popcorn and pumpkin seeds ~ in Texas, we call them pepitas. They are good for you and we always have them on hand for snacking. And I love popcorn ~ always drizzled with extra virgin olive oil ~ try it and you’ll never go back to butter ~ and a little salt. Add some spices and you have an easy snack. Well, the recipe was not to be found, so I just opened the spice cabinet, pulled out some that I thought would make a tasty, spicy mix and here’s what I came up with ~ and it’s really, really good. I think this Spicy Pumpkin Popcorn Snack is a perfect fall munchie for serving on football-watching weekends. It’s super quick (about 10 minutes in the oven).
Do you remember what gathering all your ingredients is called?
You can smell the spices when you mix them with the pumpkin seeds. You know it’s going to be good.
Smells even better in the oven.
I popped the popcorn while the pumpkin seeds were toasting. I used my air popper that my kids gave me years ago for Mother’s Day.
Make sure that you toss the toasted pumpkins and the popped popcorn together really well and put in a pretty bowl. I used my trifle bowl so the mixture would show.
Store extra or leftovers in an air-tight container. You can reheat in a 250 degree oven.
- 2 cups raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 ~ 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cups popped popcorn
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin seeds and all the spices. Toss to combine.
- Drizzle 1 ~ 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over and toss to coat the seeds.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spread the pumpkin seeds on the sheet pan in single layer.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Watch the seeds so they don't burn.
- Toss with the popcorn. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or red pepper flakes if you want a spicier snack.
Some cold beer would be really good with this snack. Sweet Shark loved it. I hope you and your football fans like it too.
Whether you make the Spicy Pumpkin Popcorn or the Sweet Pumpkin Spice Popcorn, I know you will enjoy both.
Happy Halloween and Happy Popping.