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(NAPS)—It’s National Popcorn Poppin’ Month, the annual celebration of one of America’s oldest and most extraordinary snack foods.  Unlike sweet, flint or dent corn, popcorn is the only type of corn that pops, making it truly outstanding in its field. At the heart of this fascinating little kernel is a healthful whole-grain celebrated for its taste, economy and versatility. Sweet or savory, popcorn can be paired with any number of flavors satisfying a variety of tastes. Popcorn purists may choose a dash of salt, while the more adventurous opt for playing in the kitchen.

With this year’s hot “lollipop” food trend, what better way to celebrate Popcorn Poppin’ Month than with these Spooky Popcorn Cake Pops from the Popcorn Board.

Spooky Popcorn Cake Pops
Yield: 18 Pops
5 cups popped popcorn
1⁄2 (11.5-ounce) store-bought pound cake
3⁄4 cup canned vanilla frosting
8 ounces candy melts (assorted colors) for coating*
1⁄2 teaspoon vegetable oil
18 lollipop sticks

Decorations for cake pops: miniature chocolate chips, blue and red food gel, miniature chewy chocolate candies, food-safe markers.

Styrofoam block
Process popcorn in food processor until coarsely chopped. Crumble cake into large bowl.

Add popcorn and frosting, stirring with fork until mixture is evenly moistened. Form mixture evenly into 18 balls. For Ghosts, roll into an elongated triangle creating a distinct head and body. Place on waxed paper–lined baking sheet; freeze 20 minutes. Melt candy melts according to package directions.

If using white, stir in vegetable oil. Color as desired using candy color. Remove popcorn cake balls from freezer. Dip tips of lollipop sticks into candy melts; insert no more than halfway into center of balls.

Let sit three minutes until set. Dip one ball into melted candy melts to cover completely. Gently tap stick against side of bowl so excess melts drip off. Immediately decorate as desired (candy melts harden quickly). Use white candy melts for ghost (pumpkins/orange, one-eyed purple monsters/purple); miniature chocolate chips for eyes and mouth; shape small piece of chewy chocolate candy for pumpkin stem and attach with candy melt; spread melted white candy melts in center of ball to create monster eye; use blue gel for iris, red gel for veins. Poke sticks into Styrofoam block to dry completely.

•You can use 8 oz. white candy melts with oil-based candy color to achieve desired color (purple for One Eyed Purple Monster; orange for Pumpkin).
To see popcorn popping in slow motion and for more recipes, visit www.popcorn.org.

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