Thursday, October 29, 2009

Popcorn Balls-Happy Halloween

I had plans to write something fun, witty, spooky, "Halloweeny"...but my brain is exhausted and I can't think clearly enough to write something worth while. My plans were foiled when my popcorn popper decided to bite the dust in the middle of making these great treats. So I'm reposting an entry from my family blog site. I hope you make these for your little ghosts and goblins!

Original Post: Seven Wonders Of The World, October, 2008.

Happy Halloween. . . well almost. Popcorn balls have a special place in my heart. My Nanny always made them every Halloween and yes it was exciting to go to her house to show off our costumes but it was equally (or more) exciting to sink our teeth into the sugary, sweet, crunchy and sticky goodness known as the popcorn ball.
This first recipe is for the traditionalist. It calls for a sugar syrup poured over freshly popped popcorn and formed into baseball sized balls. I use an aluminum roasting pan to avoid clean up.
Grandma Anderson's Popcorn Balls:
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup white syrup
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup water
3 qts. popped popcorn (9 tablespoons of unpopped kernels)
  • Boil sugar, syrup, salt, vinegar, vanilla and water to soft ball stage or 250 degrees on candy thermometer
  • Pour sugar mixture over popcorn that has been placed in aluminum roasting pan (let cool before forming with buttered hands)
  • Shape into baseball or small softball sized balls
The second recipe is for the kid in all of us. It has a marshmallow base, rather than syrup and has a hint of caramel from the brown sugar. Oh-and chocolate! How bad can that be?

Marshmallow Popcorn Balls
4 T. unsalted butter
1 ten oz. bag miniature marshmallows
1/4 c. light brown sugar, packed
3 qts. popped popcorn
1 c M&Ms

  • Place popped popcorn and M&M's into an aluminum roasting pan.
  • Melt butter in heavy pot over low heat. Add marshmallows and brown sugar, stir until melted. Remove from heat. Let cool for 2-3 minutes
  • Pour over popcorn and M&Ms; toss well. With buttered hands, shape into balls.
*I found that spraying your hands with non-stick spray works really well when shaping balls. Keep it on the counter and spray as needed.


Sophie said...

What a cool idea this is!


Maria said...

What a fun treat!

Meghan said...

Thanks for posting the link to these recipes! I'd love to try both of them!!!