Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween creation: popcorn balls

I started making popcorn balls last year.

I've always loved them, and they're so festive, and really super-duper easy to make.

This year I tried a different recipe that I found on, titled "Grandpa's Popcorn Balls" (which makes me giggle.  Not gonna lie.)

SO, last night I set to work.

You will need:

2 cups white sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup water
salt to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

You will also need a glass of cold water to stick your finger in when you burn it by sticking it in the concoction to taste it.  How ridiculous am I??!!!  Clearly wasn't thinking. 


First pop your popcorn.  I love my trusty air popper--a wedding gift eight years ago from my dear friend Lara.  I think of her every time I make popcorn.  Love it.  Love her.

"In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter and water. Stir and heat to hard-crack stage or 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Remove from heat, add vanilla; mix well."

I will add that it is SO KEY to get it to 300 degrees F.  That's the secret to good candy and fudge.  Consistency is everything.  Get yourself a candy thermometer.  So inexpensive and so worth it.

"Pour slowly over popped popcorn while stirring. Wait 5 minutes and shape into 3 inch round balls."

I now have to tell you that basically I waited too long to shape it into the balls...the popcorn on the bottom basically stuck to the confection-y stuff and so some of it went to waste, because it couldn't be shaped into balls. 

It tastes GREAT though, just like caramel corn, and it's nice and crunchy.  Perfect consistency.  Yay!

And two more essentials for fall baking:

1.)  I LOVE pumpkin-scented candles.  They make everything seem more Fall-ish.  These ones from Target are wonderful.

2.)  I am so blessed to have a big daughter to bake with, and a baby at my feet.  It makes for such a happy kitchen!

*I'm linking up with SITS for a few Halloween-themed posts.  Happy Halloween, friends!*


This Heavenly Life said...

YUM! So glad you posted this :)

Jenna Hoskinson said...

so funny b/c I just made popcorn balls, too! I don't like crunchy ones though, I like super gooey ones! So I only heated my caramel mixture to about 225 and it was still a bit too crunchy for me. Next time I will try going to 200.

Angie in Vegas said...

So fun! I remember my first grade teacher made these with us in class around this time of year way back when and we all had so much fun. I bet you and Anna had a blast.


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