Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Our Popcorn Ball Tradition!


When I was a child I remember a little old lady up the road from where I grew up give out home-made popcorn balls every Halloween to those who visited her house for "trick-or-treating". They were delicious, about the size of an adult fist wrapped in clear wrap tied with a ribbon. This was about 40 years ago when we didn't worry about getting homemade goodies in our trick or treat bag in fear of drugs or sharp objects hidden inside.
About ten years ago as I was sharing memories with my own children, I had a flashback of this fond memory. I searched my Betty Crocker Cookbook (1982 printing) for a recipe that sounded like what we would get from the little old lady up the street. I found "Caramel Popcorn Balls" and believe I found a close match if not the same recipe!
I started a tradition of making Popcorn Balls in the month of October & only in the month of October. This tradition was unintended the first year, but has become a family favorite as the years have passed. This year, my 9 year old was quick to ask me on October 1, "mom, can we make popcorn balls, today?"... and that's what we did! (in the past week and a half, I've made three separate batches.)

Caramel Popcorn Balls
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 cube)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 21-28 cups of popcorn (about 3-4 regular sized micro-popped corn; each popped bag yields about 7 cups of popcorn)

  • Directions
    Pop popcorn. *(I use two different bowls to sort the popcorn; one to initially dump the newly popped corn into, then a second to transfer the popcorn by hand over to ensure any unpopped seed get left in the first bowl. No one wants to break a tooth on a popcorn kernel!)


    Heat brown sugar, dark corn syrup,butter and salt in 4-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring constantly, at medium heat. Bring to a boil and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

    Remove from heat and wait about 1 minute to add to popcorn. Drizzle over the top and stir completely. Cool slightly.

    Dip both hands in a bowl of cold ice water until very cold; lightly pat dry on dish towel.


    Shape mixture into 2-3 inch balls. Place on waxed paper; cool completely.

    Store wrapped individually in plastic wrap or in plastic sandwich bags; tie bags to seal. For a seasonal touch, I add halloween stickers to the outside of the wrapped popcorn ball.


    1 comment:

    Laura said...

    They sound yummieeee!!! and you make it sound soooo easy, maybe I will give them a try some day, although my baking and cooking never turn out!! hahaha