Popcorn balls have been a tradition in my husband’s family for as long as he can remember. Over the years I have heard stories recounted of the “making of the popcorn balls” at Grandma’s house. However, as much as everyone loves popcorn balls no one wants to make them.
I think the making of popcorn balls has gotten a bad wrap over the years. Yes, it is a little putzy but overall I think it’s relatively easy. The hardest part is shaping the balls with hot popcorn.
Usually my husband and I make popcorn making a family affair. I make the syrup and he forms the balls with the hot popcorn 🙂 Here is the recipe we use, I originally took this recipe off of http://www.ehow.com/.
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3 qts. popped corn
1/3 c. white corn syrup
1 c. sugar
Food coloring (optional)
Pop corn and keep warm in roasting pan in slow oven, 300 degrees. Stir and cook sugar, syrup, water, butter and salt until sugar is dissolved. Cook without stirring until it reaches 270 degrees on a candy thermometer or brittle ball forms in cold water. Add vanilla and food coloring (if desired) Immediately pour syrup over corn and mix well. Let popcorn cool slightly, until you can handle. Grease your hands with butter and form popcorn into balls. This must be done before syrup cools and crystallizes, 5 minutes or less.
Wrap popcorn balls in waxed paper, twisting ends to seal.
Makes 12 medium sized balls.
One little time saving hint – I buy pre-popped corn. Our grocery stores sells a huge bag of plain, non-buttered popcorn for about $5. This makes the whole process so much easier!
Most of the time I just make plain white popcorn balls but you can also add M&M’s to the popcorn mixture to add a little oomph to your popcorn balls.