Healthy Halloween Popcorn

Daytime

Halloween Healthy Snack

Halloween will look different this year. My family will be spending the night in with a scary movie so I came up with this healthier movie snack as opposed to the pounds of candy. Popping the popcorn yourself adds to the freshness of this snack and is a fun activity for the kids but feel free to use store bought to make this even easier. You can substitute any of these ingredients or add anything extra for a little added indulgence like mini peanut butter cups instead of dark chocolate chips.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups popped popcorn (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (if popping fresh popcorn)
  • ½ cup roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • ½ cup roasted cashews
  • ½ cup chopped dried apricots
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Pop 1/4 cup popcorn kernels in 1 tablespoon of olive oil (equals about 4 cups popped)
  2. Once popcorn is cooled… add pepitas, cashews, apricots and dark chocolate chips and toss to combine.
  3. Pour into bowls or festive pumpkin bowls for the kids. Enjoy!

Harvest Celebration

Caramel Apple Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding is a comfort classic that can be made for any occasion, big or small. You can make this recipe family style, enough to feed a crowd or in individual ramekins to make just a portion or two. Bread pudding used to be a poor man’s dish and has a history of being either savory or sweet.  Today we are going to make a sweet dessert version and elevate this dish to a new level.  This is perfect around the holidays as it can be made with any kind of bread you may have on hand with just the addition of a few ingredients. Sometimes I just save the ends of loaves of sliced bread and use those as nobody eats them.    Once you know the basic custard recipe proportions, it can be made into any size.  Make this simple dessert into something upscale by making a homemade caramel sauce. This is a definite crowd pleaser.

This recipe will make 1 family sized or 6 individual ramekin sized portions

Bread pudding custard (for 6 cups of bread and 2 sliced apples):

Ingredients:

2C       Whole Milk

1C       Heavy Cream

6          Eggs

1tsp    Vanilla

1C       gran Sugar

½ tsp Cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Rip 6 cups of bread apart with hands into 1”x1” sections.  Place into baking dish, layering in 2 apples, sliced. 
  2. Pour custard mix over the top slowly, making sure to evenly coat all bread and giving it time to soak in. 
  3. Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon sugar over top (makes a nice crust on top)
  4. Bake at 325 degrees for 45-60 minutes (time will depend on amount but you’ll want to check for custard to be firm and not runny.)
  5. Serve bread pudding warm a la mode and drizzle with homemade bourbon caramel sauce.

Caramel Sauce

Ingredients:

1-cup gran sugar

½-cup heavy cream

¼-cup butter cut into pats

1tsp vanilla

2 tbsp. bourbon

1tsp sea salt

Directions:

  1. Cook sugar down in a pot leave alone on medium heat.  Do not keep stirring- the mixture will start to change color to an amber brown.  You can shake and shimmy the pan a bit at this stage to ensure all sugar cooks evenly. 
  2. Once it is all a golden amber color, remove from heat and stir in carefully the cream and butter.  This will bubble like crazy and release steam so be careful!  The cream and butter will drop the temperature of the caramelizing sugar.  Keep stirring and it will all come together. 
  3. Add vanilla, and bourbon once everything else is incorporated, then hit it with a dash of sea salt at the end. 

*You can actually make this caramel sauce well in advance and store in Mason jars if you wish.  My family like it for an ice cream topping as well. *

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