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

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


Red Velvet Balloon Dog Biscuits

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

For the fun-loving and heath conscious dog!
Balloon Dog, Vizsla, Dog Treats
Red Velvet Balloon Dog Biscuits
yield varies based on the size of your cutter

What you need:
6-7 medium canned beets (drained)
1/4 teaspoon chicken base (can substitute beef or ham…The Bitch likes them all)
1 egg
1-2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup dry milk
2 teaspoons baking powder

What to do:
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, add the beets, chicken base, egg, 1 1/2 cups flour, dry milk and baking powder. Process just until combined. The mixture should feel like a bread dough. If it’s too wet, add more flour (2 tablespoons at a time).

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll to a 1/4-1/2-inch thickness and cut with your cookie cutter. I used a balloon dog shaped cutter, but often I’ll just use a small star because The Bitch thinks she’s a star and we like to indulge her.

Bake for 30 minutes or until hard and crisp but not too browned. You can turn these over halfway through the baking process, but it’s not necessary. Repeat with the remaining dough. Allow to cool completely before using.

Use within one week. Biscuits can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Healthy Dog Biscuits, Beet dog biscuits, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life, Vizsla, Dog Treats

Watch the video!

Balloon Dog Biscuits (VIDEO)

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

One very judgy dog LOVES this very delicious dog biscuit, but refuses to act like she does.

Before and After: Lotus Root and Chips

By Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong

The beauty of the lotus root.
Peel, slice, fry, salt, repeat.

Lotus root…before. 
Lotus Root, Food Styling, Food Photography, Libbie Summers
Lotus root…after.
Fried Lotus Root, Lotus Root Snacks, Unusual Snacks, Libbie Summers, Chia Chong, food Styling, Food Photography
Spiced Lotus Root Chips
(try with any of the finishing salt recipes below) 

What you need:
1 lotus root, peeled using a vegetable peeler
juice from one lemon
canola oil for frying
Dry Herb Finishing Salt (recipe to follow)
Chai Spiced Finishing Salt (recipe to follow)
Sweet Onion Finishing Salt (recipe to follow)
Coriander and Pepper Finishing Salt (recipe to follow)

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

Squeeze lemon into a medium mixing bowl filled halfway with water. Set aside.

Slice lotus root into 1/8-inch thick slices (we used a mandoline). Place in the lemon water while your oil is heating up.

Heat oil in a wok or heavy pan until it is hot, but not smoking (approximately 300 degrees F.) Working in batches, pat dry lotus root slices before lowering into the hot oil. Fry lotus root slices until golden brown, turning as needed. Remove with a spyder or slotted spoon to the paper-towel lined baking sheet and immediately sprinkle with a Finishing Salt. Allow to cool before storing in an airtight container.

Dry Herb Finishing Salt
In a small bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 tablespoon dried dill, 1 tablespoon dried parsley flake and 1 teaspoon flaked or kosher salt.

Chai Spiced Finishing Salt
In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar and 1 teaspoon flaked or kosher salt.

Sweet Onion Finishing Salt
In a small bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon dehydrated onion, 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar and 1 teaspoon flaked or kosher salt.

Coriander and Pepper Finishing Salt
In a small bowl, stir together 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon flaked or kosher salt.

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