In my quest for the recipe for the perfect popcorn ball to bring to a Halloween party, one of the first places I looked was in the recipe archives right here at My Sister’s Kitchen. I’d always rather make and bring homemade treats to a party….mostly because homemade just tastes better! It also usually costs less.
So I started with our family’s favorite recipe for Caramel Corn and went from there. The cool thing about these popcorn balls is that they can be made for any holiday party by adjusting which candies you include. You could even include little candy hearts and make them for Valentine’s Day if you wanted to.
Start by stirring together:
- 1 c. walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 c. almonds, chopped
- 1/3 c. Reeses Pieces
- 1/2 c. candy corn
- 1/2 c. malted milk balls
Like I said, you can modify the candy choices to reflect the season or holiday you want to make your theme. I’ll also try including shredded coconut sometime. If nuts aren’t your thing, then leave them out.
Set the candy aside and pop your popcorn. Make about 3 to 3 1/2 quarts of popcorn. Set that aside too.
In a heavy saucepan, melt together:
- 1 1/3 c. white sugar
- 2/3 c. light corn syrup
- 1 c. butter
Slowly bring to a boil and cook for about ten minutes. If you go long, you’ll end up with a caramel sauce that gets very, very hard and chewy. It’s delicious but you chew in constant danger of yanking your fillings out!
Remove pan from heat after ten minutes and stir in 1 t. vanilla.
Combine all your popcorn, nuts, and candy in a large container and pour the hot caramel mixture over it. Stir everything together, trying to get the candy mixed in evenly.
Butter up your hands and start shaping the balls. What worked best for me was to use a large spoon to scoop out a lump of sticky popcorn. I sort of shaped it into a ball and tipped it onto a greased cookie sheet. As the popcorn balls cooled a little, I was able to shape and pack them into tighter balls. The perfect size for these popcorn balls seems to be just smaller than a baseball.
These popcorn balls actually pair nicely with the Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls I made yesterday. Unfortunately, that means that everyone around here feels compelled to take one of each to snack on! The real trick is going to be making them last until it’s time to leave for the party.