THE HOLIDAY: National Candy Corn Day is celebrated annually on October 30th. Candy Corn was created by George Renninger of Wunderle Candy Company in the late 1800′s. He created this sweet treat to represent the pretty colors of kernels of corn. Originally, Candy Corn was yellow, orange, and white, but has become popular in other colors as well, when produced for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter. More
THE ART: The comedian Lewis Black says that "The worst thing about Halloween is, of course, candy corn. Candy corn is the only candy in the history of America that's never been advertised. And there's a reason—all of the candy corn that was ever made was made in 1911." e’s probably right. But that won’t stop us from shoveling gobs of it into our faces, will it? This is America! And what’s more American than corn manufactured out of corn syrup, then doused in more salt and sugar?! This recipe makes a buttery, crunchy, salty-sweet mess out of the golden trifecta: candy corn, popcorn, and corn nuts.
SALTY CANDY CORN SNACK MIX
1/2 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup popcorn kernels
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups white chocolate or white chocolate candy melts
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
At least 1 cup assorted sprinkles
3 cups corn nuts
2 cups crushed corn chips, preferably spicy Doritos, for that certain je ne sais quoi
1 cup peanut butter candy, such as Reese’s Pieces
3 cups candy corn and candy pumpkins
2 big pinches flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter. (Don’t even think about reducing the amount of butter, or substituting margarine or oil, or saving 2 minutes with the microwave or air popper. To counter candy corn’s sickening sweetness, you need the rich, fatty, slightly burnt taste of popcorn in pure butter.) Drop a few test kernels in the pan; when they pop, remove pan from heat, add the remaining kernels, cover, and let sit for 30 seconds. Return pan to medium-high heat. With the lid slightly ajar, cook for about 3 minutes or until you can count 2 full seconds between pops. Toss in kosher salt.
2. In a saucepan over medium heat—or in a microwave-safe bowl and for 3 to 5 30-second bursts of power—heat and stir white chocolate until smooth and creamy. Spoon in vanilla bean paste and stir to combine.
3. Spread out popped corn on two rimmed baking sheets or jellyroll pans. Jackson Pollock the melted white chocolate vanilla bean mixture over top. Add sprinkles. If that looks pretty and tasteful, you’re doing it wrong—add more sprinkles. Using a wooden spoon or a spatula, stir and gently toss to coat popcorn in the white chocolate and sprinkles. Scatter corn nuts, crushed Doritos, candy corn, and sea salt on top, and toss to combine. Transfer to a big festive party snack bowl, and serve.
Yield: Makes 16 cups