Popcorn Ball Spider

Popcorn balls are a tasty fall classic.  Dress them up with candy and turn them into a spider for a perfect Halloween treat.  Although you can use your favorite recipe we recommend you use ours.  We like this particular recipe because it is quick and easy to make and the popcorn balls stay slightly soft and chewy.  They are easy to decorate and easier to eat.

 You will need:

1.  The ingredients for popcorn balls.  Here's our favorite popcorn ball recipe!

2.  Black food dye

3.  Black licorice

4.  Toothpicks

5.  Laffy Taffy 

A popcorn ball spider for Halloween 
 Melted marshmallows dyed black

 1.  Melt together the butter, sugar, and marshmallows as the recipe directs.  Add the food dye* just before you pour the marshmallow mixture over the popcorn.  Some people prefer to skip this step and make white spiders.   

*You can't always find black food dye in the grocery store.  You may have to look in the cake decorating section of a craft or hobby store or order it online.

Popcorn balls
 
2.  Pour the marshmallow mixture over the popcorn, stir until the popcorn is evenly coated, and then allow the mixture to cool until it is comfortable to touch it.  Butter your hands and form the popcorn balls.  You can make them all one size, but we think it is cute to make big and little spiders.
A piece of licorice with a toothpick   3.  Cut four pieces of licorice in half or to the desired length for your spider's legs.  Insert a toothpick half way into each piece of licorice.  Remember to warn spider eaters about these toothpicks!
 Licorice legs are added to the popcorn body  4.  Insert the "legs" into your spider, four on each side.  You can trim the legs shorter or leave them long.
 A spider with a cute face  5.  Make fangs and eyes out of Laffy Taffy.  Make the pupils for the eyes out of pieces of licorice.

Some fun facts about spiders:

Spiders are not insects but arachnids.  Spiders have eight legs while insects only have six.

Spiders digest their food before they swallow it.  When they capture their prey they cover it or fill it with digestive enzymes which liquify the food.  Then they drink it up.  Yuck!

There is a tiny spider hidden on the American dollar bill.  See if you can find it.

Patterns: 

Crafts

Ghostly melt-in-your-mouth meringue cookies are a perfect Halloween treat.

Use handprints to make this Halloween placemat set. The placemats are fun to make and will become keepsakes as your children grow.

Place these lighted ghosts in any dark corner or window.