How to Make Popcorn Balls
An old-fashioned treat for Halloween or Christmas, or any time. This recipe makes 12 medium popcorn balls.
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 qts. popped popcorn
1/3 c. light corn syrup
1 c. granulated sugar
1.* Pop 2 qts. popcorn - air-popped is best - and put in a large pan. Keep popcorn warm by placing it in a warm (about 200 degrees F) oven.
2.* Put sugar, corn syrup, butter, 1/3 c. water and salt in a medium saucepan.
3.* Place pan over medium heat and stir constantly until mixture comes to a boil.
4.* Stop stirring and let syrup cook until it reaches 270 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
5.* Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla.
6.* Take popcorn out of oven and pour hot syrup over popcorn a little at a time, stirring constantly, until all popcorn is coated.
7.* Let popcorn cool slightly, until you can handle it easily.
8.* Grease your hands with butter and form popcorn into balls.
If you don't have a candy thermometer, test syrup for readiness by dropping a spoonful into a glass of cold water - the syrup is done if it separates into hardened threads.
Before the popcorn balls cool, decorate them with candy pieces.
CANDY CARAMEL POPCORN BALLS *
5 qts. popped corn
4 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. corn syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. candy corn
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 of 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
Mix popcorn and candy corn in large bowl. In 2 quart saucepan, melt butter. Stir in sugar and corn syrup, bring to boil on medium heat. Stir in milk, boil gently, stirring constantly until mixture comes to the soft ball stage, 234 degrees, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Stir in vanilla, pour over corn mix; stir until well coated. Butter hands. Make into 2" or larger balls. Makes 20. Wrap in waxed paper, don't put in closed container.