Popcorn: The Perfect Party Food

Popping Tips for Good Old-Fashioned Popcorn

Nothingís better than a great batch of popcorn. Here are a few tips for perfect popping, every time.

  • Warm the heavy pan or heavy skillet. Be sure the lid of the pan is loose enough to allow steam to escape and keep the pan moving when popping popcorn on the stove.

  • Add ľ cup of vegetable (cooking) oil to the pan. Allow the oil to heat. The best popping temperature is between 400-460 degrees Fahrenheit. Note: Oil burns at 500 degrees Fahrenheit, so if your oil starts to smoke, itís too hot.

  • Test the heat of the oil by dropping in one or two kernels. When the kernel spins in the oil youíre ready to add the remaining popcorn. Pour just enough kernels to cover the bottom of the pan.

  • Cover and shake the pan to be certain the oil coats each kernel. When you hear the last few pops, remove the pan from the heat, take off the lid and empty the popped popcorn into a large bowl.

  • Looking to spice up your party with popcorn? Here are a few topping favorites:

    • Garlic salt

    • Parmesan cheese

    • Thyme

    • Cumin

    • Oregano

    • Dry taco seasoning mix

    • Dry ranch-style seasoning mix

    • Lemon pepper

    • Italian herbs: oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme, and crushed rosemary.

    • French herbs: marjoram, thyme, summer savory, basil, rosemary, sage, and fennel

    • Cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg

    There are countless tasty treats you can make using popcorn. Be creative and have fun. For more scrumptious snacking ideas, visit the popcorn people on the Web at

    Happy Halloween Mini Popcorn Balls

    10 cups popped corn
    1 (1-lb.) bag miniature marshmallows
    1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
    1 cup diced dried fruit (papaya, mango or peaches)
    1 cup butterscotch chips
    Orange food coloring

    • Place popcorn, fruit and butterscotch chips in large bowl; set aside.

    • Heat marshmallows and butter in a large saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Stir in several drops of food coloring. Pour over popcorn, fruit and candy, tossing to coat evenly. Cool 5 minutes.

    • Grease hands and form into 3-inch balls.

    Yield: About 16 balls

    Nutritional Information:
    (Based on 1 serving)

    Total Calories 250; Total Fat 8g; Cholesterol 10mg; Sodium 60mg; Carbohydrate 43g; Fiber 1g; Sugars 31g; Protein 2g

    Popcorn Granola Snack Bars

    1/2 cup honey
    2/3 cup peanut butter
    1 cup granola cereal
    1 cup roasted and salted peanuts
    3 cups popped popcorn

    Line an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan with foil. Spray foil lightly with cooking spray; set aside. Heat honey in a large saucepan until boiling. Stir in peanut butter until well blended. Remove pan from heat and stir in granola, peanuts and popcorn until coated. Press mixture evenly into prepared pan. Refrigerate until cool; cut into bars to serve.

    Yield: 16

    Nutrition Information:
    (Based on 1 serving)
    Total Calories 190; Total Fat 12g; Saturated Fat 2g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 110mg; Carbohydrate 8g; Fiber 2g; Sugars 11g; Protein 6g

    Caramel Almond Popcorn Clusters
    10 cups freshly popped popcorn
    2 cups whole almonds
    1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
    1/2 cup butter or margarine
    1/4 cup light corn syrup
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    1 teaspoon almond extract
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda

    • Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Spray 15 x 10 baking sheet with non-stick spray. Mix popcorn and almonds in large bowl.

    • Combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in medium saucepan. Over low heat, stir mixture until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla, almond extract and baking soda.

    • Pour over popcorn and almonds, immediately stirring gently to coat. Pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet, spreading evenly.

    • Bake for 1 hour in preheated oven. Cool completely. Break into pieces and store in airtight container.

    Yield: 20 pieces

    Nutritional Information:
    (Based on a 1 piece serving)
    Total calories: 210 Fat: 14 g Carbohydrate: 19 g Sugar: 14 g Fiber: 1 g Protein: 3 g
    Sodium 120 mg: Cholesterol 10 mg

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