Zombie Boogers

Monday, September 17, 2012





The air is getting crisp, the leaves are turning beautiful shades of red and yellow, and Halloween is right around the corner.  I know, I know. It's still a bit early...but I had so much fun creating these Zombie Boogers treat bags, that I couldn't resist sharing them with you.  Plus this gives you plenty of time to plan and bake for your Halloween party.

The recipe for the Zombie Boogers popcorn is super, duper easy and is sure to make your guests shriek with delight.  The treat bags are available for purchase in my Etsy shop. Enjoy!

"Zombie Boogers" Green Candy Coated Popcorn

Recipe Difficulty: Easy
Serves: 8-10
Time: 1 1/2 hours

16-20 cups of popped popcorn

Mixture: 
1/2 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoon green food coloring
1 teaspoon baking soda
(Depending on how coated you would like the popcorn, I recommend making a double batch of the mixture to achieve the same look of the popcorn as in the photo.)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (95 degrees C).

Place your popcorn in two large shallow baking dishes.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt buter. Stir in sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to boil while stirring consistently.  Boil without stirring for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and green food coloring until the mixture is evenly colored and combined. Stir in baking soda. Mixture will double. Pour the mixture over the popcorn and stir to combine and evenly coat.

Place the popcorn in the oven. Stir the popcorn every 15 minutes for 1 hour. Remove from the oven. Let cool for about 5 minutes and then break into pieces. Be careful popcorn will still be hot.

(Editor's Update: I've had several comments and emails from readers saying that they had to adjust or tweak the recipe. I've updated the recipe slightly due to these suggestions. Also, please note that I cook at altitude (above 5,200 feet). Depending on your location, you may need to adjust the recipe slightly to achieve the same serving size.)

43 comments:

m said...

Love the package, so creative, and thanks for the recipe!

Margot Madison Creative said...

Love it!

Anonymous said...

Do you mean 3 cups of popped corn? My mixture did not double?

Brooke Chandler said...

@Anonymous Hmmmm... Nope, I didn't mean 3 cups of popped corn -- that wouldn't be enough for 8-10 serving. When you add in the baking soda, it will cause a reaction and the syrup mixture will double almost immediately. Try keeping the mixture over the heat and see if that helps.

Unknown said...

How well does this keep... will it become stale within a day or so ?

The Stewart's said...

Can I use microwave popcorn? If so, how many standard size bags?

lisa said...

awesome!!!

Rowberry Family said...

Thank you soo much for sharing this recipe! Iam making this right now to take to my witches party this weekend.

The only problem i have had with the recipe is that i have to double it so all the popcorn would be coverd in green!

Brooke Chandler said...

@unknown It stays good for up to two weeks, although not as good as when it's first made. But I live in Colorado and the climate here is very, very dry. In more humid climates, the popcorn will go stale quicker.

@ The Stewart's I don't see why you couldn't use microwave popcorn! Although, I would recommend using a plain popcorn or slightly buttered kind. Since I didn't test the recipe with microwave popcorn, I am uncertain how many standard size bags you would need. But my serving size for the recipe was about a 1 1/2 cup - 2 cups of popped popcorn for every serving. I hope that helps you!

Anonymous said...

I had to double the syrup recipe and only use 1 cup of popcorn so it was as green as in the picture. I didn't have corn syrup and substituted it with honey. Maybe that is why.

Peculiar Patissiere said...

For anyone who is having a tough time with the candy mixture, this is a standard caramel corn recipe with white sugar instead of brown and food coloring added. If you're having trouble with the high altitude recipe, just google "caramel corn recipe" and replace the brown sugar with white and add food coloring as suggested above.

For the anon using honey, substituting honey will not work to make proper caramel.

Ninny123 said...

@ The Stewart's I googled popcorn. It says that 1/2 cup unpopped corn = 16 cups popped corn. So 2 cups unpopped corn = 64 cups popped corn. That's a lot of popcorn. LOL! I have the ACT II brand from Wal-Mart and couldn't find anywhere on the pkg. what it yields, but I wouldn't think that there would be more than 2-3 cups popped corn in a bag. Hope this helps.

Brooke Chandler said...

@Ninny 123 - This recipe does yield a lot of popcorn, but you do make a make a good point about the amount of popcorn kernels. I switched the recipe from kernels to popped corn so that you can make enough according to my serving size.

Anonymous said...

I also had a bit of issue having enough caramel to cover the amount of popcorn to make it look like the photo. I am at 2800 feet. how long after you add the baking soda do you wait to pour it over the popcorn?

Brooke Chandler said...

@ Anonymous - After adding the baking soda, it should double within a matter of seconds. I then immediately poured it over the popcorn.

I've had several emails and comments from other readers who have encountered the same problem. When I created the recipe, I had to pop a lot of popcorn to get to my recommended serving size. But many readers did not encounter the same problem as I had. I did a bit of research about popped popcorn ratios, and have subsequently adjusted the recipe accordingly. Hopefully, the updated recipe will give you a better popcorn to caramel ratio.

Anonymous said...

HI!

I was wondering that is the cup measure you are using? I'm from a country that uses only decilitras, grams etc.. theres so many different cup sizes in internet,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cup_%28unit%29

I assume you mean 1 cup= 240 ml?

Brooke Chandler said...

@ Anonymous - I didn't realize there were that many cups sizes! I think the 1 cup = 240 ml is a good assumption.

I've made this recipe a couple of time without measuring exactly, and it still turned out great. The only step that you need to follow exactly is leaving the popcorn in the oven for over an hour at the right temperature. If you take it out too soon, the candy coating will not harden correctly.

Ashley said...

Hi there! Great recipe! I also had to tweak the recipe a bit to get it just right. I actually added in a 1/4 cup of water so that that consistency was not too thick. This made it easier to mix it in with the popcorn and I also did not put the popcorn in the oven for the full hour, 20 minutes seemed to work for me. Thanks for wonderful, creepy recipe. The perfect touch to my Halloween party and tastes delicious!

Sunny said...

Just wanted to thank you for this recipe. I used it in our recent Minecraft party.
http://sunnybydesign.blogspot.de/2012/11/minecraft-inspired-birthday-party.html
I didn't change the recipe and it turned out great as you can see in the pictures. Everyone loved the idea of green popcorn. So creative thanks again.

Anonymous said...

can you make popcorn balls with this?

Brooke Chandler said...

@ Anonymous Yes, you can easily make popcorn balls out of the recipe. Although, I recommend letting the mixture cool for a minute or two (as it's very hot in the oven), and then cover your hands with a little butter to prevent sticking when you form the balls. You will need to work fast. Once the mixture cools it's difficult to shape.

Fresh coffee beans said...

I tried it with different colours including red and yellow food colourings. My kids loved the colourful popcorns.

Jackie Chappell said...

If I wanted to flavor the popcorn, could I add flavored extracts? If so, do you have an idea for about how much extract to add to the recipe? Thanks! :)

Brooke Chandler said...

@ Jackie Chappell Yes! Right now the recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, but you could easily substitute it for any flavor you would like.

Sarah said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I used this recipe when making Zombie Boogers for my kid's Minecraft Birthday Party. I linked back to your site to give credit :)

http://domesticfemme.blogspot.com/2013/05/minecraft-birthday-party.html

Rianna said...

Great idea, I'm in the middle of making a pink version for a My Little Pony party, but have also repined this as a possible superhero party idea - as I think if you make it as per above and add some gold edible glitter (just as it comes out of the oven) this would make great Kryptonite :)

nikki mccauley said...

my popcorn went only greenish brownish cloour any ideas why\

Brooke Chandler said...

@ nikki mccauley: If it turned a greenish brownish color, I think you might have left the mixture cooking too long. If the sugar or the butter burns, you will have a brownish color coating.

Anonymous said...

Do you have a template for the bag? Love it!

Brooke Chandler said...

@Anonymous The treat bags are available for purchase in my Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/listing/109497884/zombie-boogers-halloween-treat-bags-12

Jamie said...

I'm doing this right now... My son is having a Walking Dead birthday party and thought it was a great idea!! My mixture didn't double when i put the baking soda in though...and i halfed the popcorn amount. So i'm going to make a second saucepan of sugar and see if i can cover the rest! I used Neon Green food color and it is super bright!

Brooke Chandler said...

@ Jamie If your mixture is not doubling usually the baking soda is too old. Try using fresh baking soda and seeing if that works. As I mentioned in the recipe, you may want to double the mixture to really, really coat the popcorn.

Brittany Barragan said...

I made a bowl of the popcorn how do I store it to keep it from getting nasty.

Anonymous said...

I made the recipe with double the mixture like a lot of others. It turned out yummy and was a major hit at our halloween party. The only problem I had was oven timing. Heating g in the oven seemed to coat the popcorn thoroughly but also burned it a bit in the first 15 min. I don't think the oven time is necessary and will omit it next time.

Brooke Chandler said...

@ Brittany Barragan I would recommend storing it at room temperature in a sealed container. It should keep for a week or more.

@ Anonymous I have tried the recipe with and without baking it in the oven and much prefer the baked version. Baking it gives the coating a nice crunch as I find the unbaked a bit sticky.

How close was the popcorn to your heating element in the oven? You should always bake the popcorn on the center rack. I am thinking that your popcorn might have been too close to your oven's heating element and that is why it burnt.

Anonymous said...

Made a 5qt pot of popcorn it filled 2 9x13 pans to the top ,but the coating didnt cover both pans so next time need to make 3 times the mixture or make a level layer of pop corn

Anonymous said...

I doubled the caramel and recipe worked great for me although I forgot to add the baking soda :( and I really wish I had added more food coloring to mine.... but its more a booger color so it works for me as long as it tastes good which it does! No more buying popcorn from kernels Thanks for the inspiration, and recipe.

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Terry Rose said...

Thank you for the delightful recipe! I will certainly enjoy giving these out at Halloween!

mrsben said...

Thank you so much for this recipe. Am definitely going to try making this for my Grandson's Minecraft themed Birthday Party. Question: Is the corn syrup you use light/white/clear? I am assuming it is. (Re the commenter 'Nikki'; perhaps she used the dark (golden) type reason why it turned out greenish-BROWN.) -Brenda-

Brooke Chandler said...

@mrsben You are very welcome. I hope your grandson likes his Zombie Boogers! I used clear corn syrup. That is an excellent idea why @ nikki mccauley turned greenish brown.

mrsben said...

Brooke, re my comment above. Mission was accomplished and hope you do not mind me sharing my experience making the popcorn which was as follows:

a) If wanting a heavy coating; do 'not' double the ingredients but instead divide your sixteen cups into two and prepare as separate batches. (Reason explained below.)
b) If 'not' using pure vanilla, double the ingredient of artificial vanilla (otherwise it will be extremely sweet.)
c) When the syrup mixture reaches a rapid boil; start timing your four minutes then.

d) For combining the syrup and popped popcorn invest in two disposable (cheap) foil roasting pans and give the utensils beings used, a light spray of cooking oil to make clean up easy.
e) For your baking sheets, I recommend lining them with parchment paper for the above reason as well.
e) A second pair of helping hands is beneficial when applying the syrup to the popcorn as the mixture cools off rapidly and can quickly harden. (i.e: One person to add the syrup while the other mixes/tosses the popcorn.)

f) When baking, do 'not' overload your baking sheets and place only on middle rack. (I used a total of three large ones.)
g) Regarding the baking time, I personally found that 20 to 25 minutes maximum (with two stirs) was sufficient so I recommend doing the taste test. In other words .... if your popcorn has a crunch ...... it is done! (I notice another commenter (Ashley) found 20 minutes was sufficient as well.)

Confession: With no intention of criticism; I ruined my first batch from over baking it but want to add; ovens do vary in temperatures plus I used a hot air popper to prepare my popcorn which I made the day before and sealed in airtight baggies which may have affected the baking time.

Last but not least, a big 'thank you' to Brooke as the popcorn addition to the children's loot bags was a great success. I labelled them as "Creeper Boogers" and "Eat At Your Own Risk" which the eight year olds (all boys) thought was pretty cool. ☺ -Brenda-

Footnote: For those who may be packaging popcorn in 16 oz. cups with dome lids, they take approximately 2 2/3 cups of popped corn.

Brooke Chandler said...

@mrsben Thank you so much for your suggestions!

Everyone - feel free to adjust the recipe to what works best for your kitchen.

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