It seems as if autumn will finally come to Oklahoma, which is enough to get one thinking of Halloween treats and slow-roasted foods.

Take advantage of some Made In Oklahoma Coalition ingredients to ramp up the fun and flavor of two fall favorites.

Give the nostalgic treat of popcorn balls a makeover by creating Popcorn Cupcakes, using a muffin pan to shape the treats, then let guests decorate them with a variety of toppings.

Just about any vegetable is made better by roasting, and that is particularly true of Brussel sprouts. This cooking method brings out the sweetness of the sprouts, something that can be amped up with bacon and apple spread.

To find out more about MIO Coalition ingredients, go to

Popcorn Cupcakes

12 cups air-popped popcorn

3 tablespoons unsalted Hiland Butter

1 (10-ounce) package mini marshmallows

1 teaspoon Griffin’s vanilla

¼ teaspoon salt


1 (11-ounce) package caramel candies, unwrapped for melting

1 cup chopped Miller pecans

2 bars Bedre chocolate bars

¼ cup Hiland heavy cream

Festive cupcake toppings and sprinkles

1. Place 12 cups fully popped popcorn into a large mixing bowl.

2. Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan over low heat. Add the marshmallows, vanilla and salt stirring until completely melted. Pour over the popcorn and stir until evenly coated. Form popcorn cupcakes into a cupcake mold and insert a 6-inch long skewer into each of them. You will need to work quickly before the marshmallow mixture sets.

3. Melt the caramels in the microwave, stirring every 10 seconds until you have a smooth sauce-like consistency. Dip the base of each of the popcorn cupcakes into the caramel, then dip into the chopped pecans.

4. Heat the chocolate and heavy cream in the microwave, stirring every 10 seconds until it is smooth in texture and pourable. Drizzle over the popcorn cupcakes and garnish with festive sprinkles.

Apple Roasted Brussels Sprouts

2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts

¼ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

½ pound Bar-S bacon

1 shallot, diced

1 jar Gina’s Southern Style Gourmet Apple Spread

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Wash Brussels sprouts, pat dry and cut in half. Place on a large roasting pan. Add olive oil, salt and pepper, and gently toss.

2. In a saute pan, cook bacon until crisp and shallots until translucent.

3. Combine bacon and shallot mixture to Brussels sprouts. Add jar of apple spread. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 30 minutes.

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James D. Watts Jr.



Twitter: watzworld