Creative Ways to Use Caramel

Move over flour, there’s a new baking staple in town and it’s got an irresistibly sweet flavor few taste buds can resist! In honor of National Caramel Day on April 5, we’re celebrating all the creative ways to use caramel – from baking to decorating.

Creative Ways to use Caramel

Use as an edible adhesive. If you’re looking for an edible adhesive to take your recipes to the next level, look no further! Whether you’re looking to add fun toppings to decorate or add flavor, add a dab of caramel and press down to secure.

Use to decorate. A vase becomes a sweet centerpiece when you fill it with caramels and top with a flower! Similarly, put wrapped caramel candies in a decorative bowl for when guests come over to decorate end and coffee tables. Who knows when a caramel-loving guest will stop by and snack on these ooey gooey bites?!

Batch of Double Caramel Marshmallow PopcornUse it in recipes. Perhaps the most popular way to use this sticky ingredient, there are tons of mouth-watering recipes (like our double caramel marshmallow popcorn recipe) that utilize this sweet substance.

Infuse it with vodka. Chop up your caramels in fine pieces and throw in a glass mason jar or empty vodka bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with your favorite unflavored vodka and let sit until the caramels fully dissolve. Once fully dissolved, add a pinch of salt to really bring out that caramel flavor; now you have salted caramel vodka!

Use it to decorate drinks. Throw a few caramels into the microwave (in a bowl) and use the melted substance to rim your cocktail glasses – it’ll add both decoration and flavor!

Use it as a Coating. There’s a reason caramel apples are so popular; there’s simply delicious! Using caramel as a coating, we created caramel coated popcorn balls on a stick – you can customize them with your own toppings if you really want to get creative!

DIY Caramel Popcorn Balls

Use it to decorate foods. Use melted caramel and a toothpick to create beautiful caramel creations on food or serve ware. Melt only a little bit at a time so it doesn’t solidify before you’re finished with your masterpiece.

Use as a dip. Finally, serve melted caramel alongside apples, grapes, and your favorite desserts for a fondue-style dipping treat! You can even set up a dessert bar with a selection of toppings for a unique dining experience at home.

Sweet and Simple Buttercream Caramel Popcorn Cupcakes

Looking for the perfect sweet movie night snack? Look no further than these drool-worthy Buttercream Caramel Popcorn Cupcakes. These popcorn cupcakes are so sweet and simple to make, and the recipe can be customized to suit your taste buds.

All you need to make these easy popcorn cupcakes are your favorite flavor cake mix, some buttercream frosting, and caramel popcorn! Pair that with our printable popcorn cupcake wrappers, and you’ve got the perfect sweet treat for movie night, a circus themed party, or even just for a fun midweek snack!

Buttercream Caramel Popcorn Cupcakes

Supplies for Buttercream Caramel Popcorn Cupcakes
Your favorite flavor of cake mix
Buttercream frosting
Caramel Popcorn
Cupcake tin
Spatula
Printable popcorn cupcake wrappers

Directions for Buttercream Caramel Popcorn Cupcakes

Step 1: Prepare cake mix using directions on box. Pour batter into cupcake tin to create cupcake shape and pop into the oven.

Popcorn Cupcake Wrappers

Step 2: While the cupcakes are baking, download and print the printable popcorn cupcake wrappers. Cut out the liners and add glue or tape to the tabs to seal into the circular shape. Once you have all of the popcorn cupcake wrappers created, set aside.

Step 3: Once the cupcakes are baked and ready, let cool for 15-20 minutes. Once sufficiently cooled, use a spatula to spread the buttercream frosting on top. This will serve as a delicious adhesive for the popcorn.

Step 4: Once frosted, add the caramel popcorn! When you feel like you have enough popcorn on your cupcakes, simply slip into the popcorn cupcake wrappers and enjoy!

Buttercream Caramel Popcorn Cupcakes

Make It Personal With Customized Popcorn Gifts for Every Occasion!

Big Day Small Canister SetHave a big day coming up? Whether you’re celebrating a Sweet 16, a wedding, a birthday or an annual family trip, nothing makes your present pop out from the crowd more than a customized label for your gourmet popcorn tins! So the next time you want to make the day extra-special, try one of these two awesome ways to personalize your snack gifts!

Big Day, Small Canister

These small custom canisters send a big message that’ll make your big event even more memorable. Each set of four canisters comes with adorably illustrated logos that can be tailored with the name and date of your event. Choose from a selection of three out-of-this-world popcorn flavors to fill your canisters with: caramel, Cornfusion (a blend of caramel, butter and cheese popcorn) and pink passion fruit popcorn. Then, pick the label theme that best fits your special day: baseball, congrats, golf, birthday, patriotic, party, summer, or wedding. These pint-sized snacks make the perfect party favors or miniature gifts for the guests of honor!

Personalized ZigZag 3-Flavor Popcorn TinCustom Popcorn Tin Labels

These popcorn tins don’t just come in super-stylish designs. You can make them even more unique for your big occasion by adding a custom photo label on the lid. There are loads of tin designs to choose from, including flowers, butterflies, patriotic stars, birthday party hats and more. Plus they come filled to the brim with mouthwatering gourmet popcorn flavors (like cheese, white cheddar, and almond pecan, just to name a few), pretzels, cookies, candy and more! Once you’ve chosen your tin and the snacks you want to fill it with, put the final personal touch on your present: a completely customized label. Whether you add a photo, a message or both, this is one keepsake gift that will last long after all those delicious snacks are gone!

How will you choose to personalize your popcorn gifts for your next big celebration?

The Popcorn Bar: A Sophisticated Way to Serve Popcorn at Your Party

Popcorn BarHaving friends over for an evening of elegant dining? Treat them to five-star snack service with an upscale popcorn bar. Here’s how you can turn a few fancy champagne glasses and pitchers into black-tie attire for your sweet and salty delicacy. Cheers!

How to Make Popcorn Cone Champagne Glasses

What You’ll Need

Square-shaped cardstock (one sheet per cone)
Double-sided adhesive tape
Champagne glasses (one per cone)
Popcorn

Directions

Cardstock Used to Create Popcorn Cone

  1. Lay a sheet of cardstock flat on a table so that it looks like a diamond. If one side is blank, make sure that side is facing up.
    How to Fold Cardstock to Create a Paper Cone
  2. To create the base of the cone, fold the bottom corner of the diamond up toward the top corner. Secure the folded corner in place with double-sided tape.
    How to Roll Cardstock Into a Cone for Popcorn
  3. Starting at the left corner of the diamond, gently roll the paper from left to right to create a cone shape. Make the cone wide enough so that it comfortably sits inside the champagne glass.
    Popcorn Cones Served in Champagne Glasses
  4. Fill the cone with popcorn and place it in the champagne glass. Repeat the process to create one glass for each guest. Then, set the glasses on a serving tray for a chic display!

Popcorn Toppings Served in Shot GlassesComplete the sophisticated bar theme by filling up a few large pitchers with different gourmet popcorn flavors, then pouring various popcorn seasonings into shot glasses. Here are a few toppings you might want to consider serving:

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Caramel sauce
  • Cinnamon

To cap it off, lay out some salted pretzels, chocolate-covered pretzels, and chocolate candy on the table so your guests can create their own popcorn cocktail. The swanky fun will flow all night long, guaranteed!

How do you like to serve popcorn at your formal dinner soirees?

A Toast to the Holidays: Creative Ways to Serve Your 3-Canister Popcorn Sets!

The Popcorn Factory 3-Canister Popcorn SetsGive a toast to the holiday spirit: Fill a few glasses with our delicious popcorn and spread the cheer to all of your guests! The new 3-canister popcorn sets are here just in time for the celebration, and their many colors and flavors will be a hit with friends and family! But making an even bigger statement with your snacks at the dessert table is easy and virtually effortless: Just pick an assortment (or more!) and pour the popcorn into your favorite stemware to create a stylish and elegant display.

3-Canister Holiday Assortment

The Popcorn Factory 3-Canister Holiday AssortmentThe cranberry, peppermint candy cane, and holiday kettle corn in this set makes for a fun, festive and downright delectable treat for the season. Add some extra pizzazz to your holiday spread by serving the popcorn in cute martini glasses and topping it off with candy stripe straws.

3-Canister Savory Assortment

The Popcorn Factory 3-Canister Savory AssortmentFor those with more serious tastes, the mouthwatering combination of cheese, buffalo ranch, and cracked pepper and sea salt popcorn will be at the top of their list of favorite things. Give this assortment a touch of sophistication by presenting it in beautiful wine glasses or champagne flutes.

3-Canister Chocolate Lovers Assortment

The Popcorn Factory 3-Canister Chocolate Lovers AssortmentNothing is more comforting than sitting by the fireside and enjoying drizzled caramel, s’mores, and dark chocolate sea salt popcorn with the family. For a cozy, laid back affair, hand out this treat in rustic mason jars and tie a festive ribbon around the mouth of the glass.

3-Canister Nut Lovers Assortment

The Popcorn Factory 3-Canister Nut Lovers AssortmentThis small sweet-and-savory treat is big on personality: The smooth, sugary taste of the almond pecan, peanut brittle, and butter toffee pretzel popcorn is complemented by a salty crunch. Show off the popcorn’s character and serve it up in mixed-and-matched glassware, like shot glasses and margarita glasses.

Which assortment of flavors is your favorite, and how do you plan on dishing it out to your guests this holiday season?

How to Make a Witch Hat With Halloween Popcorn

Popcorn Witch Hat

You don’t have to toil and trouble over your Halloween décor! With a few easy-to-find art supplies and some Halloween-themed snacks, you can brew up a wickedly cute witch hat that will spellbind your party guests (no potions necessary).

Popcorn Witch HatWhat You’ll Need

One pencil
One Styrofoam cone
Two 15-ounce canisters of Zombie Kettle Corn
One hot glue gun
One Halloween-themed wreath (handmade or store-bought)

Directions

  1. Using the pencil, draw the outline of any pattern of your choice on the surface of the Styrofoam cone. Here, we used a simple linear pattern to create bands across the base and the top of the cone.
  2. Separate the Zombie Kettle Corn by its four colors (orange, purple, green and black).
  3. With the hot glue gun, follow the pattern you drew and glue the popcorn onto the cone, piece by piece. (Watch out: Don’t burn yourself!)
  4. As you work your way up and around the cone, glue the kernels close together—like a mosaic—so the white cone doesn’t show through. Use small broken pieces of popcorn to fill any gaps between kernels.
  5. Top off the cone with the pointiest popcorn kernel you can find. When the popcorn is completely dry, spray it with glitter.
  6. To make the brim of the hat, lay the wreath face-up on a flat surface and place the cone in the center of the wreath.

Abracadabra, your witch hat is complete! Add a little extra charm by wrapping it with ribbon and embellishing it with feathers, spiders or owls. Show off your creation by resting it on your fireplace mantel, atop your kitchen counter or next to a cauldron-shaped punch bowl.

Now that our Halloween popcorn series is officially over, it’s time to put our readers to a vote! Which creepy craft was your favorite: the popcorn centerpiece, the popcorn pumpkin or the popcorn witch hat?

How to Decorate a Pumpkin With Halloween Popcorn

Popcorn Pumpkin
Two things usually come to mind when we think of October 31: Decorating pumpkins and eating Halloween treats! Why not combine the two and dress up a pumpkin with Halloween popcorn? If you’re on the hunt for some ghoulish Halloween party ideas, this craft is a hair-raising alternative to the ho-hum Jack-o-lantern.

Popcorn PumpkinWhat You’ll Need

One small or medium-sized pumpkin
One washable black marker
Two 15-ounce canisters of Zombie Kettle Corn
One hot glue gun

Directions

  1. Using the washable marker, draw the outline of a monster face (or any pattern of your choice) onto the surface of the pumpkin.
  1. Separate the Zombie Kettle Corn by its four colors (orange, purple, green and black).
  1. Following the pattern you drew, use the hot glue gun to glue the popcorn onto the surface of the pumpkin. (Be careful not to burn your fingers!) It’s easiest to start at the top of the pumpkin and work your way down.
  1. Make sure the kernels are glued close together in a mosaic-like pattern so the orange color of the pumpkin doesn’t show through. Use small broken pieces of popcorn to fill in any gaps between kernels.

Welcome your Halloween guests by propping up your little monster on a windowsill, a staircase or your doorstep.

Now it’s your turn to tell us: What kinds of unusual materials have you used to decorate a pumpkin?

How to Make a Halloween Centerpiece With Popcorn

Halloween CenterpieceLooking for some simple Halloween party ideas that will send shivers down your guests’ spines? Here’s a tip: Halloween treats aren’t just for eating; you can decorate with them too! Spook-ify your dinner table with this centerpiece made from Halloween popcorn and autumn leaves. It’s a fun, super-easy craft, plus you can reuse it for your Thanksgiving spread!

Halloween CenterpieceWhat You’ll Need

One 15-ounce canister of Zombie Kettle Corn
One tall, clear vase
One branch of faux fall leaves
Halloween ribbon

Directions

  1. Separate the Zombie Kettle Corn by its four colors (orange, purple, green and black).
  2. Start layering the popcorn in the vase, one color at a time, in any order you like.
  3. After you’ve finished the second layer, place the leaves into the vase.
  4. Hold the branch straight up in the vase and continue with the third and fourth layers of popcorn, placing the popcorn around the branch. Pack the popcorn tightly all the way to the top of the vase so that it holds the branch up.
  5. Tie a cute Halloween ribbon of your choice around the top of the vase.

You’re done! Display your popcorn arrangement at the center of the dinner table, or place it on a coffee table to accent your Halloween décor.

How do you like to decorate with healthy Halloween snacks? Tell us your ideas!

Movie Night! The Best Films to Watch on Election Day

The Popcorn Factory Red States and Blue States PopcornNovember 6 is just around the corner, and you know what that means: It’s time for everyone to break out the ballots and choose the next U.S. president! What better way to celebrate than by gathering your friends—democrats and republicans alike—and treating them to The Popcorn Factory’s Red State vs. Blue State Popcorn Mix? Pair up your patriotic snack with a movie inspired by our nation’s commander in chief, and you have a party fit for a president. We’ve rounded up the best presidential films to watch while you and your guests wait for the polls to officially open on Election Day. Here are the five movies that got our vote:

Air Force OneCandidate No. 1: “Air Force One”
Party Affiliation: Action Lovers
The Back-Story: Just after President James Marshall (played by Harrison Ford) announces to the world that he won’t put up with terrorist threats against the United States, Air Force One is hijacked by Russian radicals. Now, Marshall must find a way to save the hostages’ lives … and his country’s reputation.
Approval Rating: If you want to pump up your Election Day party guests with a double dose of excitement and nationalism, this movie is your winner.

 

Candidate No. 2: “All the President’s Men”All the President's MenParty Affiliation: Suspense Junkies
The Back-Story: When five burglars are arrested for breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters, Washington Post investigative reporter Bob Woodward (played by Robert Redford) is assigned to cover the supposedly no-big-deal story. Once he teams up with his colleague Carl Bernstein (played by Dustin Hoffman), however, the duo uncovers a much larger scandal that spells disaster for President Richard Nixon.
Approval Rating: Want to fuel some intellectual conversation at your get-together? This nail-biting whodunit is sure to keep your friends talking.

 

Head of State

Candidate No. 3: “Head of State”
Party Affiliation: LOL-ers
The Back-Story: After being kicked to the curb by his girlfriend and getting axed from his job as an alderman in Washington, D.C., Mays Gilliam (played by Chris Rock) seems to be living life in the shadow of failure. But when his party’s presidential nominee dies in a freak accident, Gilliam accidentally finds himself running for office … as president of the United States.
Approval Rating: With so many debates going on, election season can become pretty intense. This movie is the best choice for laid-back voters who want to lighten the mood.

 

The American PresidentCandidate No. 4: “The American President”
Party Affiliation: Diehard Romantics
The Back-Story: As President Andrew Shepherd (played by Michael Douglas) draws closer to the end of his term, his reelection looks like a sure thing. When a chance meeting with environmental activist Sydney Ellen Wade (played by Annette Bening) turns into a love connection, Shepherd faces career-threatening attacks from the opposing party.
Approval Rating: Who said you can’t find a great love story in the White House? Your starry-eyed pals will adore how this film brings a little romance to the presidential race.

 

Wag the DogCandidate No. 5: “Wag the Dog”
Party Affiliation: Conspiracy Theorists
The Back-Story: Just a few days shy of Election Day, the U.S. president is caught red-handed in a humiliating sex scandal. In a wild effort to divert the media’s attention from the controversy and secure his reelection, he hires Hollywood producer Conrad Brean (played by Robert De Niro) to cook up a fake war and win back his popularity.
Approval Rating: Part comedy, part drama, this movie is the perfect recipe for partygoers who love to second-guess candidates’ agendas … but still have a few laughs along the campaign trail.

"Air Force One" Image Courtesy of Columbia Pictures Corporation

 

If you need even more suggestions for your presidential movie marathon, these runners-up are also worth adding to your list: “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “Dave” and “Thirteen Days.” Which movies will you watch to celebrate Election Day 2012?

Halloween Treats and Gifts Preview!

halloween treats and candyWelcome back Popcorn Fans!

The combination crisp air, changing of the leaves and an abundance of sweaters everywhere signifies the end of the summer and our anxious countdown to our favorite holidays! We know it’s early, but we just couldn’t wait to share all of our hard (yet fun!) work with all of our loyal customers and fans. Today is the start of our Halloween treats and gifts preview! It’s your chance to order these festively fun, scrumptious Halloween candy and popcorn before the rush and share the excitement with us! halloween tin owl

Get started on the Halloween spirit with these scary good gifts! Our newNight Owl design is terrifyingly festive and gives any gift that ghostly touch. Our Happy Halloween and Gimme Popcorn designs are whimsical, fun, and in the spirit of the haunting season! Kids will love the ghoulish cartoons and playful lettering just as much as the gourmet popcorn and candy awaiting them inside. The Gimme Candy tote bag is great for enjoying our premium popcorn and snacks, and then reusing the tote for trick-or-treating. There’s a design in our new Halloween collection for everyone! halloween candy bag gifts

Back by popular demand are our Mr. Bone Jangles and Boo Bats designed Halloween gifts! Take your pick with colorful gift towers and hauntingly delicious popcorn tins. Get set for Halloween night with our Boo Bats Backpack gift, filled with Halloween candy, popcorn and ready to reuse for a secure night of trick-or-treating.

halloween boo mini tins Making their debut are some frightfully delicious new gourmet popcorn flavors like sour green apple, zombie kettle, skinny sea salt, and more! We’re also welcoming back our favorite chocolate popcorn flavors like dark chocolate and sea salt, chocolate drizzle, and s’mores.

When the goodies inside the tins and gift towers are done, reuse this spooktacular gifts as Halloween decoration around the house! The popcorn tins would make the perfect candy bowl for Halloween, too.

Check out our whole collection here and order before they creep back into hiding!

Happy Hauntings!