09 January 2014

Plain Popcorn Balls

If you know  me at all, you know I love, no, ADORE popcorn.  My mom used to make popcorn balls for May Day (does anyone else celebrate that anymore???) but these could easily be substituted for a Christmas treat or an anytime snack.

I should have known my love for popcorn was genetic . . .
Of course, how could I be unhappy after receiving such a smile, even if she was stealing my popcorn?
This recipe is a very basic popcorn ball but the beauty of it is that it can be dressed up anyway you want: add food coloring, liquid flavors like peppermint or cinnamon or add ins such as white chocolate, mini marshmallows, toasted coconut--the possibilities are endless!

Ingredients:

4 quarts popcorn (HOMEMADE IS ALWAYS BETTER)
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Optional add ins (food coloring, liquid flavoring, chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, M&Ms, etc)

If using "solid" add ins (like chocolate chips, toasted almonds, etc), add to the popcorn.  In a saucepan, melt butter.  Add in sugar and corn syrup bringing it to a boil while stirring constantly.  Boil three minutes more or just before the sugars turn a deep caramel color (or your popcorn balls will be rock solid).  Remove from heat and add vanilla and food colorings and/or flavorings if using.  Pour hot mixture over the popcorn and additional add ins if using.  Stir to coat.  Wait a few minutes to cool enough to handle but not too cold that the popcorn won't adhere.  Butter hands and press popcorn into balls.  Cool on wax paper.  Wrap in plastic wrap to store.
Some of the possibilities!
Enjoy!

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