My sister Caroline has been asking me for popcorn balls for at least the last 10 years. I used to make them every Halloween when my children were young. Today I finally made some.
My friend Ramona offered to help as we thought this would be a good treat to make for our grandkids for Halloween. I only have 4 grandchildren in town, and the other 5 are a plane ride away so basically the rest of mine went to my husband, kids and sister. We had quite a few. But there’s never enough.
We doubled the recipe below twice. This made about 30 good sized balls. (For comparison, they were bigger than a baseball and smaller than a softball)
1 cup popcorn
2 tbsp. canola oil
2 tbsp. butter (melted for popcorn)
Softened butter or Parkay for hands
Pop the popcorn in canola oil according to package directions. I don’t use the microwave stuff because there are so many added ingredients that sometimes leave a nasty after taste.
Use the old heavy skillet, the one with a tight fitting lid. The skillet we used was the original one I used to make popcorn when I was a kid. It’s moms skillet and looks pretty old but we hold it in high honor in this house.
Add the canola, heat it up then pour in the cup of popcorn shake the pan a bit and let it do its thing. When its finished popping, quickly pour it out into the biggest bowl you can find. It needs to be big enough to mix the popcorn and syrup.
Salt and butter the popcorn, it will get sealed in under all that sweet syrup. No really, its the secret of keeping the popcorn fresh and tasty under that gooey mixture.
Set popcorn aside and make your syrup.
Syrup for popcorn
4 tbsp. butter
½ tsp. Vanilla
¾ Cup Light Corn Syrup
1 cup marshmallows
1 cup granulated sugar
Orange food coloring (Optional)
In a heavy bottomed saucepan on med-low heat, melt butter, vanilla, corn syrup, marshmallows, sugar, and vanilla.
Boil the marshmallow mixture for approximately 3 minutes, being careful not to scorch. Pour over popcorn and stir to coat all the popcorn with the syrup. Keep pulling it up from the bottom of the bowl. It needs to be cool enough to handle but warm enough to form balls.
Grease hands with butter or Parkay. We used plastic gloves to keep from burning our hands. We also used the Parkay to butter our hands or else the syrup will stick to your hands and you won’t be able to form the balls.
Place them on a cookie sheet to cool before you place them in the plastic bags.
Seal them up with a tie or ribbon. This will keep them fresher and chewy longer.
Tip! If after time they harden too much to bite, simply place them in the microwave and heat no more than 4 or 5 seconds to loosen up again.
Time to sit back and watch the World Series! GO ROYALS!!