Candy Corn Marshmallow Popcorn Balls

by Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

The first step to making popcorn balls is this recipe. The marshmallow “glue” is your baby step into making those with hot sugar! I added the candy corn because I love it and it seemed fitting for Halloween. Pretzels and peanuts are fun additions too. Basically, just have a blast and have the kids help!
Libbie Summers, Halloween, Candy Corn, Popcorn, Recipe
Candy Corn Marshmallow Popcorn Balls
makes about a dozen softball sized balls

What you need:
1 cup uncooked popcorn kernels (I love Orville Redenbacher)
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
Cooking spray
2 cups candy corn
2 (10 ounce) bags mini marshmallows
10 tablespoons unsalted butter

What to do:
1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.

2. In a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, add the oil and 2 popcorn kernels. Cook over high heat until the kernels pop, then add the remaining popcorn, cover and lower the heat to medium-high. Cook until the kernels stop popping, shaking the pan often. Discard any unpopped kernels.  Spray a large mixing bowl with non-stick spray and add popcorn and candy corn. Set aside.

3. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the butter and marshmallows. Cook, stirring, until melted and smooth (about 6 minutes).

4. Pour the melted marshmallow mixture over the popcorn mixture and gently toss to coat.

5. Coat your hands with cooking spray, then shape the into balls (have everyone help!). Place balls on the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate until firm.


Libbie Summers, Halloween, Candy Corn, Popcorn, Recipe

Moon Cakes

Recipe and Photography by Chia Chong (do yourself a visual solid and follow Chia on Instagram)
Styling by Libbie Summers 

Tomorrow (October 4, 2017) is Mid-Autumn Festival Day! Help us celebrate the day by making moon cakes!

The Moon Cake is the special food of the Mid-Autumn Festival. On this day, people sacrifice moon cakes to the moon as an offering and eat them for celebration. Moon cakes come in various flavors according to the region. This wonderful moon cake recipe is a family favorite of Chia Chong and her family in Malaysia.

Moon Cakes
yield varies depending on size of mold

What you need:
1 recipe Sugar Syrup (recipe to follow)
1 recipe Moon Cake Dough (recipe to follow)
1 recipe Moon Cake Adzuki Bean Filling (recipe to follow)
Moon Cake Molds (source guide below)
Flour for dusting the molds
1 egg mixed with 2 tablespoons water for an egg wash

Take a heaping tablespoon of the moon cake dough (more or less depending on the size of your molds) and form into a circle the width of your mold and 1/8-inch thick.

Roll 2-3 teaspoons of the filling (amount will vary depending on the size of your molds) into a ball and place in the middle of the dough. Pinch the dough up around the filling until it is completely covered. Pinch the ends of the dough off both ends and place back with the other dough.

Lightly flour the the moon cake molds. Flatten the top of the filled dough and place into the mold. Lightly press the the dough into the mold until level with the mold.

Tap on all four sides of the mold to release the moon cake.

Place moon cake on a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Continue making moon cakes until all dough and filling is used. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush the moon cakes with egg wash. Continue to bake until the pastry turns golden brown, about 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. When cool, store in an air-tight container until ready to eat.

We wish you much luck and prosperity.

Sugar Syrup
450 grams sugar
375 grams water
2 thick slices fresh lemon
(Stir together all ingredients to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature to low and continue to simmer the mixture until it reaches a thick honey consistency, about 1 1/2 hours.) Allow mixture to cool. *make at least one week ahead

Moon Cake Dough
350 grams all-purpose flour
220 grams prepared Sugar syrup (remove lemon slices)
100 grams peanut oil
1⁄2 tablespoon Potassium Carbonate & Sodium Bi-carbonate Solution
(Mix sugar syrup, peanut oil and PCSBC in a mixing bowl. Add flour and stir till evenly mix. Cover and allow dough to rest for 3 hours)

Adzuki Bean Paste Filling
300 grams dried adzuki beans
300 grams sugar
150 grams peanut oil
(In a medium stock pot add beans and add enough water to cover by 2-inches. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the beans have softened (about 1 1/2 hours). When ready, the bean paste will be wet but not too soupy, pour out access liquid if necessary. Add the beans to a food processor or blender and process until a smooth paste is formed.

In a large pan/wok, stir the bean paste, sugar and oil over low heat until the mixture is no longer sticking to the pan, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Where to purchase moon cake molds:

Homemade Tootsie Rolls

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey
First Photo by Cedric Smith Photography

The first cool female pastry chef I became aware of was Gale Gand. She made approachable desserts that were also next level. She also taught me how to make tootsie rolls. I’ll take that over any intricate sugar work any day. Thank you Gale for being a roll model, for writing a blurb for my baking book and for teaching me how to make this nostalgic chocolate candy treat!!
Candy Making, Homemade Candy, Easy Candy Making, Chocolate Candy, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life
Homemade Tootsie Rolls
makes 48

What you need:
12 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup light corn syrup (please no high fructose corn syrup)
1 ¾ -2 teaspoons orange extract
3/4 teaspoon water, warm
Waxed paper squares or colored candy foil for wrapping

What to do:
•Line a baking sheet with film wrap and set aside.
•In a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat, add the chocolate and stir constantly until melted. You can also use a microwave safe bowl to melt chocolate in a microwave. Set timer for 10 seconds stirring between each time until chocolate has melted.
•Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.
•Scrap chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet and press down with the back side of a spatula to a 1″ thickness (you won’t cover the entire baking sheet).
•Cover chocolate loosely with a piece of film wrap and let set overnight at room temperature. Note: The mixture will be stiff, but still moldable and flexible the next day.
•Remove film wrap and cut into desired size pieces. Form each piece into a log with a 1/2″ diameter.
•Wrap pieces in waxed paper or colored foil squares.

**Make your own signature tootsies using other extracts to flavor! Try a raspberry extract or mint. Your imagination is the only limit!
Tootsie Rolls, Homemade Candy, Chocolate Candy Recipes, Libbie Summers Candy Recipes, Halloween


Homemade Tootsie Rolls (VIDEO)

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

Stop it already!! I can make my own tootsie rolls? YES!!!
Pro Tip: make a double batch…you’ll thank me later!

Get the written recipe HERE!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Donut Muffins

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

When you forgot where you sat your PSL and find it an hour later…whipped cream deflated and cold. You don’t try and heat it up, or pour it over ice. What you do is make this little donut muffin popper. After trying one, you may never DRINK your PSL again.
Donuts, Pumpkin Spice Latté, PSL, Muffins, Breakfast Recipes, Libbie Summers Recipes, Donut Recipes, Pumpkin Spice
Pumpkin Spice Latté Donut Muffins
makes 2 dozen mini muffins

What you need: 
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cup sugar (I use vanilla infused sugar), divided
1 1/4 cup melted butter, divided
1/2 cup cooled Pumpkin Spice Latté
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

What to do: 
1. Preheat oven to 375º. Coat a mini muffin pan with non-stick baking spray and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter and cooled latté just until combined.
4. Fill the prepared muffin cups half full with batter and bake just until done (about 15 minutes).
5. While muffins are baking, whisk together the remaining sugar, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice in a medium mixing bowl. Place remaining melted butter in a bowl.
6. While muffins are still warm, roll in butter and then roll in the spiced sugar mixture until fully coated. Serve immediately or not…they really are great three days later!
PSL Recipes, Starbucks, Libbie Summers Recipes, Breakfast Recipes, Donut Recipes, Gingham, Gunner and Lux, A food-inspired Life

For more fun, watch the VIDEO on making the muffins and turn the volume up!!